Encyclopaedia Biblica/Socoh-Son of God

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search



(rb lb in Josh. Kt. ; but Kr. nib as in Ch., where RV has Soco ; in S. and K. ,-pjv [Kt.] \-& [Kr.] ; CTIUVW [BAL]).

i. A town in the Shephelah of Judah, grouped with Jarrauth, Adullam, Azekah, etc.; (Josh, 15:35 aacaxu [saoochoo] [B]), and mentioned with Azekah in the description of the encampment of the Philistines in 1 S. 17:1 (cp EPHES-DAMMIM), where AV has Shochoh ([ s] <TOKX^& [eis sokchooth] 3 [BL], eiaoyxu [eisogchoo] [A], Jos. Ant. 6:9:1 <TWKOVS). Socoh was fortified by Rehoboam (2 Ch. 11:7 Shoco AV, (TOKXU0 [BA], ffOKxu [Lj, (Twxw [Jos. Ant. 8:10:1])[ but, according to the Chronicler, was taken by the Philistines in the reign of Ahaz (2 Ch. 28:18 [Shocho AV, aoKx^O [L]). The site intended is no doubt esh-Shuweikeh (as if a diminutive form of nihb). The ruins which bear this name occupy a strong position (1145 ft. above the sea level) on the S. side of the great valley of Elah (see ELAH, VALLEY OF), at the point where the Wady es-Sur becomes the Wady es-Sant (cp GASm. HG 228+; Che. Ai?s, 85). Perhaps this Socoh was the birthplace of the Antigonus who came after Simon the Righteous and preached disinterested obedience (Pirke Aboth, 1:3, ijig B"N DIJJ DJN). The gentilic is plausibly found in the 'Sucathites' (Socathites) of 1 Ch. 2:55 ; see JABEZ.

[The trend of the present writer's criticism, however, is to show that the geography of the OT narratives has often been misunderstood and consequently misrepresented by the redactors spoken of above. Saul s struggle with the arch-enemies of his people (the Zarephathites, miscalled the Philistines ; see SAUL, 4c) was in the Negeb. The fight described in 1 S. 17 was in the valley (?) of Jerahmeel ('emek ha-'elah, and 'ephes dammim) near Maacah - 'which belongs to Jerahmeel' - and Azekah. A Socoh, or perhaps rather Maacah, in the Negeb was probably meant in the other passages referred to above, as they were originally read. The Sucathites too (1 Ch. 2:55) should rather be designated the 'Maacathites'. See SHABBETHAI.

T. K. C. ]

2. A second town of this name is grouped with Shamir, Jattir, etc. , in the mountain district of Judah (Josh. 15:48 ffii3x a [K]), and is identified with another esh-Shuweikeh, situated 10 mi. SW. of Hebron and E. of the Wady el-Khalil (BR 2:195). According to the ordinary view of the sphere of action of Solomon's twelve prefects (see, however, SOLOMON, 6, note i) this is probably the Socoh which formed part of the prefecture of BENHESED [q.v.] (1 K. 4:10 RV, AV Sochoh, <rox\w [A], cro/j.r]i x a fa [somenchaza] [KAL] Pcra/w/i xa [Rsamencha] [B],

The Egypt, sa-a-ka, sha-o-ko in the list of Shoshenk can hardly be identified with either of the above. From its position in this list a more northerly situation seems necessary (cp WMM As. u. Eur. 160-161, 166).

1 In both passages LXX has Troi a [poia] or Troa [poa]], X* by a curious mistake in Mal. 3:2 TrAoia [ploia] ('grass'); Vg. in Jer. has herbam borith, in Mai. herba fullonum.

2 Fullers also used putrid urine, which was so offensive that they were compelled to live beyond the walls or in remote parts of the city of Rome.

3 The reading 2cwc^w<? [sokchooth] represents a plur. form ; cp Eus. OS (2) 293:32 (2,oK\ia- Kuifj.ai firri Svo ... 17 ^.ei- avaiTepa, rj 5e xariarfpa 2oic,x<u0 xpr)uaTi bu<7a(.) and Jer. ib. 151:21 . . . unus in monte et alter in campo situs, qui Sochoth ntincupantur. Both Eusebius and Jerome strangely confuse Socoh with Succoth-benoth (2 K. 17:30).


("103), Prov. 25:20 RVmg, EV NITRE (q.v.}. Cp SOAP.


(HID ; coyA[e]l [BAP 1 !.]), father of Gaddiel, Zebulunite (Nu. 13:10).


  • Biblical references (1).
  • Critical analysis (2).
  • Lot-story not historical (3).
  • Possible classification (4).
  • Difficulties (5).
  • Text of Gen. 19:24-25, etc. (6).
  • New theory (7).
  • Stucken's dry deluge (8).
  • Judg. 19:15-30 (9).
  • Result (10).
  • Religious suggestions (11).
  • Literature (12).

1. References.[edit]

SODOM (D lp; coAOMA [BS ADEQZP], plur.), coAo/v\[e]iTAi Gen. 19:4, and GOMORRAH (iTlbl?, po- [BAL], in OT sing, and plur. ; in NT (AV GOMORRHA) plur., except in Mt. 10:15 according to Treg. [but not Ti. WH], with CDPL [DL rOMOpAC, so fOMORA Jer. 23i4Nj), two cities represented in the traditional text of Gen. 13:10-12, 19:25 as situated in the 'Circle (~I33, AV 'plain', RV 'Plain') of Jordan', and less distinctly in 14:3 as in the Vale of SIDDIM (q.v.). According to the same text, the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and their allies were defeated by CHEDOR-LAOMER, king of Elam, and his allies, who carried away both the people and the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, but were forced to give these up by the rapid intervention of the warrior Abram the Hebrew (Gen. 14:1-16). In Gen. 18:16-33, 19:1-29 we have the account of

  • (1) a dialogue between Abraham and, first of all, the Elohim who visited him, and then Yahwe alone, respecting the fate said to be impending over 'Sodom and Gomorrah' 1 (virtually equivalent to 'Sodom');
  • (2) the circumstances leading up to the culminating act of wickedness committed in Sodom ; and
  • (3) the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other cities, and the escape of Lot and his two daughters.

The sin of Sodom is often referred to as typical of horrible and obstinate wickedness, Is. 1:10, 3:9, Jer. 23:14, Dt. 32:32 ; and its destruction as a warning, Is. 179, 13:19, Jer. 49:18, Zeph. 2:9, Dt. 29:22, Am. 4:11, Lam. 4:6 (for EVs 'iniquity and sin' read 'punishment'). Sometimes, too, it is mentioned alone as the destroyed guilty city, Gen. 19:13 ('this place' = Sodom) Is. 1:7, 3:9, Lam. 4:6 (cp Gen. 14:17+ [but in v. 17 LXX{L} inserts Ka.ij3a.cr. 70/11. [kai bas. gom], where the king of Sodom figures alone) ; but Gomorrah is often mentioned too, Gen. 13:10, 18:20, 19:24,19:28, Is. 1:9-10, 13:19, Jer. 23:14, Am. 4:11, Zeph. 2:9, Dt. 32:32. 'Neighbour cities' are also referred to in Jer. 49:18, 50:40; cp Ezek. 16468 ('Sodom and her daughters'). In Hos. 11:8 Aclmah and Zeboim, and in Dt. 29:23 [29:22] Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim are given as the ruined cities ; cp Gen. 10:19 and 14:2, where in like manner these four cities are mentioned together. In Wisd. 10:6 the inexact phrase 'Pentapolis' is used (see RV). The description of the sin of Sodom in Ezek. 16:49b-50a is evidently based on the legend known to us from Gen. 19, and similarly that of the punishment in Dt. 29:23 [29:22] agrees with that given in the traditional text of Gen. 19:24-26. Allusions to the fate of Sodom appear to occur in Ps. 11:6 [but see below], 140:10 [140:11] Job 18:15, Is. 34:9-10, Jer. 20:16, Ezek. 38:22. Curiously enough, in a geographical passage (Gen. 10:19), Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim are spoken of as if still in existence. These are the data relative to the history of Sodom and the other cities supplied by the traditional text.

The references to Sodom (Gomorrah is rarely added) in the Apocrypha and in the NT are as follows 2 Esd. 2:8, 5:7, 7:36, Ecclus. 16:8, Wisd. 19:14, Mt. 10:15, (Mk. 6:11 [not in best texts], Lk. 10:12), Lk. 17:29, Rom. 9:29 (quotation), 2 Pet. 1:6, Jude 7, Rev. 11:8 (cp Ezek. 23:3, etc.).

1 Regretfully we abstain from drawing out the beauties of the story in chap. 18. For parallels to the divine visit see Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, pp. 34-37, and 312-313; cp also Hom. Od. 17:485+.

2 Kraetzschmar, 'Der Mythos von Sodoms Ende', ZATW l7:81-92 ; cp New World, 12:36.

2. Critical analysis.[edit]

Before proceeding further it is necessary to refer briefly to the critical analysis of the section in which the Sodom-story is contained (Gen. 18-19:28). That v.28 belongs to the Priestly Writer is admitted ; its true place is probably after 13:12 (P), which states that 'Lot dwelt in the cities of -133,1' (rather S.xcrtT, 'Jerahmeel'). With regard to the rest of the section, it is admitted that there has been a prolonged process of editorial manipulation. Only thus indeed can we account for the singular combination of passages which refer to Yahwe as the speaker and actor with other passages which indicate three men as charged with representative divine functions, and for the not less singular fact

  • (1) that whereas Abraham's hospitality is claimed by three men, Lot receives into his house only two men, who are called in the present text of 19:1 'the two malakim' (EV 'angels'), and
  • (2) that in 19:17, whereas the first verb is in the plural ('when they had brought them forth'), the second is in the singular ('he said'; so again, v. 21).

It was long ago suggested (and the same idea has lately been worked out by Kraetzschmar {2}) that there have been imperfectly fused together two versions of the story of Sodom, in one of which Yahwe was said to have appeared in a single human form, and in the other in a group of men ; whether we regard these men as 'elohim' (cp Gen. 126 322 117) or divine beings, the chief of whom is Yahwe, or as 'mal'akim' (commonly rendered 'angels'), does not affect the critical inquiry. It is impossible, however, to work out this theory to a satisfactory result ; the original narrative may have been modified by editors, but we cannot to any large extent admit the theory of independent literary strata. Fripp, therefore, was justified in attempting to show 1 that in the earliest form of the story Yahwe himself was the only speaker and agent. Comparing this story, however, with analogous stories in Genesis and elsewhere, it is much more natural to suppose that in its original form three men - i.e., three 'elohim' - were spoken of, and that the distinction between Yahwe (who remained - see 18:22b - to talk with Abraham) and the 'two mal'akim' who went to Sodom was due to the same later writer who, as Wellhausen (CH 27-28) has rendered probable, introduced 18:17-19 and 22a-33a, a passage which reveals the existence in the writer's mind of doubts as to the divine justice, such as we know to have been felt among the Jews in later times. There is also reason to think that the references to Lot s wife (19:15-16, 19:26 ; contrast v. 12) and the whole of the Zoar episode, together with the account of the birth of Moab and Ben-ammi (?), are later insertions, though by no means so late as the two insertions in ch. 18 mentioned above. 2

3. Lot-story not historical.[edit]

Here, however, we are chiefly concerned with the contents of the Lot-story (ch. 19). We are told that as a punishment for disregard of the sacred law of hospitality, and for a deadly sin historical committed at least in intention, Yahwe rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from Yahwe out of heaven, and over threw those cities, and all the Plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground (19:24-25 RV). Is it possible to explain the origin and meaning of this story, accepting provisionally the form in which it is given in the traditional text ? 3

That the story is historical (however laxly the word be interpreted) ought to be at once denied by those who have read the earlier legends of Genesis in the light of the comparative critical method. If the Deluge is not historical, and if Abraham and Lot are ultimately the creations of the popular imagination, how can the strange story in Gen. 19, for which, as we shall see, there are so many parallels in folk-lore, be regarded as historical? It is surely no answer to appeal to the accordance of the phenomena of the catastrophe of Sodom with those which have happened elsewhere in 'similar geological formations', or to the justification of the traditional description of that catastrophe by 'authorities in natural science' (but not in historical criticism) and by some competent critics of the OT. For the narratives of the Hebrew Origines must be accepted or rejected as wholes. Plausible as Dawson's view 4 may be, that the description of the catastrophe of Sodom is that of 'a bitumen or petroleum eruption, similar to those which on a small scale have been so destructive in the region of Canada and the United States of America', and the more ambitious theory of Blanckenhorn, 3 that the catastrophe, which was a real though not a historical event, began with an earthquake, continued with igneous eruptions, and ended with the covering of the sunken cities by the waters of the Dead Sea, it would require great laxity of literary interpretation to assert that this is what either the Yahwistic narrative, or the earliest references in the prophets, intend. As Lucien Gautier remarks (above, col. 1046), 'The text of Genesis speaks of a rain of fire and brimstone and a pillar of smoke rising to heaven, but neither of an earthquake, nor of an igneous eruption, nor of an inundation'. Nor can we venture to pick and choose among the details of the story in Gen. 19.

1 Composition of the Book of Genesis, 50-53 (1892), and ZATW 12:23+ (1892).

2 In an essay in the New World, 1243, only the geological myth in v. 26 relative to the pillar of salt is regarded as an accretion. Gunkel (HK, Gen. 188+) holds that Lot's wife played no part in the original story, and that the Zoar episode is also a later insertion, but he claims vv. 30b-38 for the original story.

3 Knobel has, at any rate, noticed that the Sodom catastrophe closes the second stage in the early narrative, corresponding to the Deluge.

4 Expositor, 1886 (1), p. 74 ; Modern Science in Bible Lands, 486.

5 ZPDV (see end of article).

It is of no more use to justify with some plausibility two or three expressions in a part of the Sodom-story by means of 'scientific' lore than to make it out to be, modestly put, not impossible that 'Chedorlaomer, king of Elam', may have invaded Palestine at a time when Abraham may have lived. If 'authorities in natural science' sometimes speak as if Gen. 19 were in part historical 1 (more plausibly, based on a tradition of a real occurrence), we must remember that historical criticism and natural science are both studies which require a special training, and if critics of the OT even in the nineteenth century have thought that they could (here and in the Deluge-story) disengage a true tradition of a prehistoric natural fact from the mass of superimposed legend, one may remark in explanation that these critics belong to a transitional period, and that the criticism of to-day has to throw off the weaknesses which it has inherited from the past.

The chief extra- biblical passage in which distinct reference is made to the destruction of the cities as historical is in Strabo (16:2:44), where, after describing the rugged and burnt-up rocks, exuding pitch, round about MoacrciSa [moasada] (i.e., the stupendous rock - fortress Masada, near the SW. shore of the Dead Sea), the geographer mentions the native tradition that here thirteen cities once flourished. The ample circuit of Sodom their capital can, he says, still be traced. In consequence of an earthquake, and of an eruption of hot springs, charged with bitumen and sulphur, the lake advanced suddenly (17 \i/j,vf) TrpoTreo-oi [e limne propesoi]) ; some of the cities were swallowed up, and others were deserted by as many of the inhabitants as could flee. Josephus (BJ 4:84), speaking of the lake Asphaltitis, upon which the country of Sodom borders, uses similar language:- 'There are still the remains of the divine fire, and the shadows (cr/ads [skias]) of five cities are visible as well as the ashes produced in their fruits'. 2 It is hardly possible to avoid taking these reports together, and assuming that Strabo s informant was of the Jewish race. If we reject the claim put forward by critics in behalf of the statement in Gen. 19:24-25, we must still more certainly reject the statement of Strabo as historical evidence. 3

1 E.g., besides the late Sir J. W. Dawson, Canon Tristram (The Land of Israel, 356). Describing a valley at the N. end of the salt-range of Usdum, he says 'The whole appearance points to a shower of hot sulphur, and an irruption of bitumen upon it, which would naturally lie calcined and impregnated with its fumes ; and this at a geological period quite subsequent to all the diluvial and alluvial action of which we have such abundant evidence. The catastrophe must have been since the formation of the valley, and while the water was at its present level - therefore probably during the historic period'. Blanckenhorn, however, is more in touch with biblical critics. In his second article he expresses his adhesion to the views (then just published) of Kraetzschmar, and says, 'This makes it plain that while it is certainly very probable that the account in Genesis points to a natural occurrence which was real but not "historic," the Yahwistic form ... is altogether different from the original tradition, which is rather to be sought in the references and figurative statements of the prophets' (ZDPV 21:69 [1898]). Whether this stress on the prophetic references, only two of which can be at all early, is justifiable, need not here be discussed.

2 See also Tacitus, Hist. 5:37.

  • The reference may be (1) to the fruit of the 'osher-tree ( 'ushar, Calotropis procera, of the family Asclepiadaceae), which Hasselquist {Travels, 1766) calls poma sodomitica, and found in abundance about Jericho and near the Dead Sea. He says that they are sometimes filled with dust, but 'only when the fruit is attacked by an insect which turns all the inside into dust, leaving the skin only entire, and of a beautiful colour'. The tree, says Tristram (NHB 484), grows to a height of from twelve to fifteen feet, and the fruit is 'as large as an apple of average size of a bright yellow colour, hanging three or four together close to the stem'. It easily bursts when ripe, and 'supports a very singular orthopterous insect, a very large black and yellow cricket, which we found in some plenty on all the trees, but never elsewhere'.
  • But (2) Tristram's suggestion that the fruit of the colocynth is meant deserves attention. See GOURDS [WILD]. The fruit, though fair of aspect, has a pulp which dries up into a bitter powder, used as medicine. But to suppose that the phrase 'the vine of Sodom' (Dt. 32:32) has any reference either to the colocynth or to any other botanical plant, is plainly a mistake (see the commentators).

3 Still more obviously worthless for critical purposes is the statement of Trogus (Justin, 18:3:3) that the Phoenicians were forced to leave their home beside the Assyrium stagnum by an earthquake. Bunsen took this stagnum to be the Dead Sea. But, as A. von Gutschmid (Beitr. zur Gesch. des Orients, 26) pointed out, the Assyrium stagnum is certainly not the Dead Sea, but the lake of Bambyke (Mabug or Hierapolis).

4. Possible classification.[edit]

From the point of view which is here recommended it is all-important to bring the Sodom-story into the class of myths or semi-mythic legends. It is not necessary that mythic stones of the same class should all give the same particulars ; it is enough if they agree in some leading 'motive'. Lack of space prevents us from mentioning more than a few such stories.

Let us refer first to the story of the punishment of the guilty city Gortyna. 'The people of this city led a lawless existence as robbers. The Thebans, being their neighbours, were afraid, but Amphion and Zethos, the sons of Zeus and Antiope, fortified Thebes by the magic influence of Amphion's lyre. Those of Gortyna came to a bad end through the divine Apollo'. 1 'The god utterly overthrew the Phlegyan race by continual thunderbolts and violent earthquakes ; and the survivors were wasted by a pestilence'. 2

Usually, however, it pleases the creators of folk-lore to represent the punishment of wicked cities as consisting in their being submerged by water. Homer (Il. 16:384+) speaks of the pernicious floods which Zeus brings by autumnal rain-storms on godless, unjust men. The well-known story of Philemon and Baucis (Ovid, Met. 8:611-724) belongs to the same subdivision. Similarly a place on the Lake of Thun is popularly said to have been destroyed because a dwarf was refused hospitality during a storm by all the inhabitants except an aged couple who dwelt in a miserable cottage. 3 A French journal of folk-lore contains a long series of folk -tales about these swallowed -up cities, most of which have a moral. 4 It is true, the moral may be omitted. Thus, according to Prof. Rhys, 5 each of the Welsh meres is supposed to have been formed by the subsidence of a city, whose bells may even now sometimes be heard pealing merrily.

For further European examples see Tobler, Im neuen Reich, 166+ (1873); Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 546-546, and cp Usener, Religionsgeschichtl. Untersuchungen, 8:246. A story similar to that of Lot told by the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, Hiouen Thsang, who travelled in India (7th cent. A.D.), may be added. There was a city called Holaolokia, which was very rich but addicted to heresy. Once an Arahat (one made free by insight) came there, and was treated inhospitably : earth and sand were thrown upon him. Only one man had pity on him, and gave him food. Then said the Arahat to him, 'Escape ; in seven days a rain of earth and sand will fall upon the city, and no one will be left, because they threw earth upon me'. The man went into the city and told his relations ; but they mocked him. The storm came, and the man was the only one who, by an underground passage, escaped (Paulus Cassel, Mischle Sindbad, 7 [Berlin, 1888]).

A similar story is also told in Syria. The well-known Birket Ram, two hours from Banias, which is evidently the crater of an extinct volcano, is said to cover with its waters a village, whose population, under aggravating circumstances, refused hospitality to a poor traveller. Usually, however, such villages or cities in Arabian legend are classified as maklubat 'overturned ones', which at any rate implies destruction by other means than a flood ; one thinks at once of the technical term mahpekah ('overturning') used in the OT for Sodom and Gomorrah, and of Job 15:28 where the wicked man is described as dwelling in 'desolate cities . . . which were destined to become heaps'. E. H. Palmer tells us 6 how the Arabs of the neighbourhood account by a myth for the blocks of stone at the base and on the summit of Jebel Madara ; stones here take the place of the brimstone and fire in our present form of the Sodom-story. Nor is it only in et-Tih that stories of ruined cities are handed down among the Arabs, and that the desolation is accounted for by the infidelity and the abominable deeds of the former inhabitants'. 1 Wetzstein (in Delitzsch's Job, Ger. ed. 197) gives a number of such stories ; one of them contains a detail illustrative of the pillar of salt which was once Lot's disobedient wife. At the source of the Rakkad (in the Jaulan) this explorer saw some erect and singularly perforated jasper formations, called el-farida, 'the bridal procession'. Near them is its village, Ufuna, which, in spite of repeated attempts, can be no more inhabited. It remains forsaken, according to the tradition, as an eternal witness that ingratitude, especially towards God, does not escape punishment.

To put aside such facts (of which only a selection has been given) as irrelevant, and to substitute for them tne speculations of authorities in natural science unversed in critical researches, would involve a serious lapse from sound critical method. The case of the Sodom-story is parallel to that of the Creation-story, and still more of the Deluge-story, in the Hebrew Origines, to explain which in any degree by taking account of the subtle theorisings of geologists would detract from the clearness and validity of the approximately correct solutions of the critical problems involved. It is now beyond gainsaying that naive races, in viewing certain striking phenomena of nature, suggestive of special divine interventions, are led, by a mental law, to form mythic narratives respecting calamities which have happened to individuals or to populations under circumstances which in the most widely separated regions resemble each other. The Sodom-story in the traditional text can be in its main features explained as such a mythic narrative, and cannot otherwise be accounted for in any way that is not open to well-founded critical objection.

1 So in effect Pherecydes (Fragmenta, 128).

2 Pausanias, 9:36 (Frazer).

3 Tobler (op. cit.)

4 Revue des traditions locales, 1899-1900, 'Les villes en-gloutees'.

5 The Arthurian Legend, 360+

6 Desert of the Exodus, 416.

5. Difficulties.[edit]

There are no doubt several difficulties which still remain to be dealt with,

  • (1) There are some features in the Sodom-narrative which remind us of the strange slory in Judg 19; the introduction of these features requires explanation.
  • (2) There is one reference (Gen. 14:3) to the site of the ruined cities which suggests that they were swallowed up by the waters of the Dead Sea; if the text is correct it appears to contradict the statement in 19:24, which makes no reference to a flood.
  • (3) The expression 'overthrew' (-~ i) in 19:25 is, strictly speaking, inconsistent with the representation in v. 24. Blanckenhorn, it is true, has a speculative justification for the expression. But the fact that 'overturning' became the 'technical term' in literature for the destruction of Sodom may well make us hesitate to follow this eminent geologist.
  • (4) It is almost as difficult to localise Sodom and Gomorrah as to localise Paradise.

It is only on the last of these points that we are tempted at present to dilate ; but here we prefer to adopt the clear and full statement (HG 50:5-8) of Prof. G. A. Smith. (It should be mentioned, however, that the question is, for us, of importance only in so far as it opens up problems as to the successive phases of the Sodom-story. The historical character of the narrative could not be rescued even if the geographical difficulty referred to were removed. )

'There is a much-debated but insoluble question whether the narratives in Genesis intend to place the cities to the N. or to the S. of the Dead Sea'.
'For the northern site there are these arguments - that Abraham and Lot looked upon the cities from near Bethel, that the name Circle of Jordan is not applicable to the S. end of the Dead Sea, that the presence of five cities there is impossible, that the expedition of the Four Kings, as it swept N. from Kadesh-Barnea, attacked Hazazon Tamar, which is probably Engedi, before it reached the Vale of Siddim and encountered the king of Sodom and his allies; that the name Gomorrah perhaps exists in Tubk 'Amriyeh, near Ain el-Feshkhah; and that the name of Zoar has been recovered in Tell Shagur'.
'On the other hand, however, at the S. end of the Dead Sea there lay throughout Roman and medieval times a city called Zoara by the Greeks and Zughar by the Arabs, which was identified by all with the Zoar of Lot. Jebel Usdum is the uncontested representative of Sodom. Hazazon Tamar may be not Engedi, but the Tamar of Ezekiel, SW. of the Dead Sea. The name "Kikkar" may surely have been extended to the S. of the Dead Sea, just as to-day the Ghor is continued for a few miles to the S. of Jebel Usdum ; Jewish and Arab traditions fix on the S. ; and, finally, the natural conditions are more suitable there than on the N. to the descriptions of the region both before and after the catastrophe, for there is still sufficient water and verdure on the eastern side of the Ghor to suggest a garden of the Lord, while the shallow bay and long marshes may, letter than the ground at the N. end of the sea, hide the secret of the overwhelmed cities'.
'Such is the evidence for the rival sites. We can only wonder at the confidence with which all writers dogmatically decide in favour of one or the other'.

It may be added that Grove (in Smith's DB, art. 'Salt Sea') has argued at length for a northern site as the real one. He is supported by Canon Tristram (Land of Israel, 360-363) and Prof. Hull (Mount Seir, 165). The latter writes thus, From the description in the Bible,

'I have always felt satisfied that these cities lay in some part of the fertile plain of the Jordan to the N. of the Salt Sea, and to the W. of that river; and when visiting the ruins of Jericho, and beholding the copious springs and streams of that spot, how applicable to it would be the expression that "it was well-watered everywhere" (Gen. 13:10), the thought occurred, May not the more modern, city (ancient Jericho) have arisen from the ruins of the Cities of the Plain?'

We may add that the name 'Jericho' most [im]probably comes from nnr (Jeroham, Jarham) = VKDrrv (Jerahmeel).

1 Cp Koran, Sur. 7:99-100

6. Text of Gen. 19, etc.[edit]

Up to this point we have accepted the biblical texts in their present form. The gains of the criticism based upon these texts have not been trifling or unimportant; but the difficulties connected with the story of the de struction of Sodom have not all of them been overcome. The passages which have now to be criticised textually are Gen. 10:19, 13:10, 14, 19:17-25, 19:30, Am. 4:11, (Is. 1:7), Hos. 11:8, Zeph. 2:9, Ps. 116.

(a) Gen. 10:19 defines the territory of the Canaanite as extending 'from Zidon in the territory of Gerar, as far as Gaza; in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, as far as Lasha'. But can this be right? Zidon, Gerar, Gaza, Sodom, Lasha? That the rest of Gen. 10 has first of all become corrupt and then been manipulated by an ill-informed redactor is clear ; can v. 10 be an exception ? Evidently 'Canaanite' should be 'Kenizzite', and most probably the names in v. 19b should be Ishmael, Jerahmeel, Shaul. 1

(b} Gen. 13:10. The awkwardness of the clause 'before Yahwe destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah' has been noticed by critics ; how could Lot know anything of the impending catastrophe? Other interpolations have also been noticed and yet neither the true limits of the passage, nor its meaning, have been fully understood. If we apply the right key, a full solution of the problem becomes possible. Read - 'And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld that Jerahmeel was everywhere well-watered [before Yahwe, etc.], like the garden of Yahwe, [like the land of Misrini in the direction of Missur]'. 2 The description derives its points from the circumstance that Paradise was localised by early tradition in the land of Jerahmeel. Cp PARADISE, 6. It is a most interesting fact that (if our restoration of the text is accepted) Sodom and Gomorrah were, like the primaeval Paradise, placed by Israelitish writers in Jerahmeel.

1 'Admah' and 'Zeboim' were naturally added after the redactor had succeeded in producing 'Sodom' and 'Gomorrah'.

2 The words within [] are interpolated. 'Missur' means the capital of Misrim.

3 Moore, however, whilst not questioning the present text, thinks the assumption of a special source for the few details about the campaign superfluous (GENESIS, 8).

(c) Gen. 14. The huge difficulties arising out of this passage are well-known. Critical opinion leans for the most part to the view that it is a post-exilic Midrash in honour of Abraham, but that it contains some material drawn directly or indirectly from a Babylonian source. 3 Gunkel evan thinks that the scenes between Abraham and Melchizedek and the king of Sodom s ound like popular tradition. He also remarks that the old tradition speaks either of Sodom and Gomorrah, or of Adman and Seboim ; 1 the combination of the four seems to him to rest on a later fusion of the current traditions. Winckler, too, deals with the question of the names. In v. 10 we hear only of the two kings of Sodom and Gomorrah (LXX and Sam., 7im&y^Di; the verb is plural). This critic, however, thinks that, as in 18:20 and 19:24, both Sodom and Gomorrah are regarded as subject to the same ruler ; later editors, amplifying as usual, increased the number of kings. Far be it from us to deny the acuteness of previous critics, especially Winckler ; a it appears to the present writer, however, that a keener textual criticism is urgently needed to bring out the real, as opposed to the imaginary, problems of the narrative. The true story seems to have stated that in the days of Abram war broke out between Jerahmeel king of Geshur (disguised as 'Shinar') or Ashhur (disguised as 'Arioch') and Ishmael king of Selam (or 'She'ulam'? 3 ). For twelve years the latter had been Jerahmeel s vassal ; after this he rebelled. A year passed, and then king Jerahmeel came and made a raid among the Jerahmeelites of Zarephath, Rehoboth, and Kadcsh. The king of Selam came out to oppose him ; but he and his army were put to flight ; the city of Selam was plundered, and Lot was one of the captives. News of this came to Abram the Hebrew, who lived at Rehoboth (miswritten 'Hebron') and was in close alliance with the Jerahmeelites. At once he called together his Kenite and Jerahmeelite neighbours, 4 pursued the spoilers as far as Rehob in Cushan, and brought back the captives and the property which the spoilers had taken. On his return two kings came out to meet him. One was the king of ZIKLAG (Halusah ?), a specially sacred city, whose king was also priest of the God of Jerahmeel, 5 and solemnly blessed Abram - a blessing which Abram acknowledged by the payment of tithes (cp Gen. 28:22). The other was the king of Selam, who offered Abram the whole of the recovered property. Abram, however, generously refused this, swearing by Yahwe, the God of Jerahmeel, that he would not commit such a sin against Jerahmeel's land, 8 or receive anything that belonged to the king of Selam, lest the king should thus be entitled to say that he (and not Yahwe) had enriched Abram. Only the clans which accompanied Abram - Eden [Aner], Heles [Eshcol], and Jerahmeel [Mamre] - required their just share of the spoil.

The war was therefore between two branches cf the Jerahmeelite race, and Abram the Hebrew, himself half a Jerahmeelite, 7 interposed in the hour of need for his neighbours and relatives. Selam, generally miswritten c~IO (MT Sedom), but once QSjy (v. 18 MT Salem), was not situated anywhere near the Dead Sea, but in Jerahmeel. Whether the earlier tradition really knew anything of a place called 'Gomorrah', is already doubtful. The Vale of Siddim, or rather hats-Siddim, which the traditional text (v. 3) identifies with a piece of water called 'the Salt Sea', together with the bitumen-pits also referred to in that text (v. 10) disappears, when the text has been closely examined in the light of results of textual criticism elsewhere. 1 See Crit. Bib.

1 Admah and Zeboim, however, take the place of Sodom and Gomorrah only in a single passage (Hos. 11:8), which is not free from the suspicion of corruptness.

2 AOF 1:101+; GI 2:26-42.

3 Sha'ul being probably a name belonging to the Negeb. Cp Semu'el, Ishma'el.

4 Read in v. 14 [D SNJffitH "?NCnT IV 21 D rpVIK np V 'Three hundred and eighteen', in which Hitzig sees Gematria, and Winckler (GI 2:27) an astronomical number, is simply due to an editor's manipulation of corrupt repeated fragments of C >s xy2B"> 'Ishmaelites'.

5 Jl Sj like nTf"Nfin 21 33, comes from SxCn

6 'If from a thread to a shoe-latchet, and if I would take anything', is impossible. LXX relieves the construction by omitting the second DX1. But the parallelistic arrangement is thus destroyed, and the improbability of the alleged proverb, 'Not a thread nor a shoe-latchet', remains. Read jHN 1 IV xy2B"&21 NfiD rpVI SNJi"n 21 tH "?NC

7 'Abram' = Ab-raham = Ab-jerahmeel ; see REKEM and cp TERAH.

(d) Gen. 19:17-25. 'Zoar, on the SE. edge of the Dead Sea, covered over now by the alluvium, once lay in a well-watered country with a tropical climate. The Israelite tradition is surprised that this little bit of land had escaped the ruin of Sodom, and explains this treatment by the intercession of Lot who desired Zoar as a place of refuge. Thus the legend of Zoar is a geological legend. At the same time it contains an etymological motive ; the city is called So'ar, because Lot said in his prayer, "It is only mitsar (something small)." So Gunkel (Gen. 192), according to whom the Zoar episode (including the incident about Lot's wife) is a later offshoot of the legend. We accept Gunkel's analysis (see 2, n. 4), but cannot venture to accept his interpretation of the legend. The stress laid on -lyxa in v. 20 suggests that the real name of the city was nstp, and thus agrees with the view that Sodom was neither N. nor S. of the Dead Sea, but in Jerahmeel. 'Zoar' therefore, needs emendation into 'Missur'. 2 The Zoar-episode has been retouched ; originally it was, not a geological, but an etymological myth.

But was it only the Zoar-episode that underwent manipulation? Textual criticism enables us with much probability to answer this question. There are several reasons for suspecting that the text of v. 24 is corrupt, (1) The verb ~^T\ in v. 25, as many critics have remarked, does not accord with the description in our text of v. 24. 3 (2) The reference to bitumen-pits in 14:10 (see c) and to fire and brimstone in Ps. 116 (see h, below) are due to corruption of the text. Taking our passage in connection with Ps. 116, we should not improbably emend it thus :

'And Yahwe caused it to rain upon Selam and upon 'Amorah [and upon] Rehoboth seven days 4 from heaven'.

This is of importance with regard to the original form of the legend. Note that in v. 25 'those cities' is equivalent to IDDn *?3 * > S*tDm ^Oi 'all Jerahmeel'. 'Sodom' is not the only city which is caught in the net of its own wicked deeds. We cannot but expect a reference to some other place besides Sodom and its appendage Gomorrah. That in the original story the implied accusative to 'caused to rain' was, not 'brimstone and fire', but 'rain', is in accordance with v. 25, where -ja7n. 'to overturn', may be illustrated by Job 12:15, 'he sends them (the waters) out, and they overturn the earth'. 'From Yahwe out of heaven' (as the traditional text reads) has never yet been adequately justified. 5 Tg. Jer. distinguishes between the Word of the Lord and the Lord. Similarly the Christian Council of Sirmium, 'Pluit Dei filius a Deo patre'.

(e) Gen. 19:30. The traditional text is so extraordinary that we quote it in full. 'And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him, for he feared to dwell in Zoar ; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters'. Kautzsch-Socin agree with EV, except that they render 7n, 'Gebirge' (mountain-country); they also remark in a note that MT has 'in the cave' (.-nyTa), 'perhaps with reference to a definite locality which was connected with Lot'. We are then told (v. 31-32) that, in order to continue the family, the two daughters agreed to make their father 'drink wine', and to 'lie with him'. Gunkel rightly points out that the original narrators of this story can have seen nothing wrong in the transaction ; the circumstances which they have described rendered law and custom inoperative (cp LOT). But the awkwardness of the passage is evident. How could Lot have been afraid to remain in the city which had been divinely granted him as a refuge? One can understand his taking refuge in a cave in the mountains, if he was unaware that Zoar had immunity from destruction; but the present form of narrative is intolerable. And whence was the wine spoken of obtained? Gunkel proposes to assign v. 30a, together with the rest of the passage relative to Zoar, to a supplementer. But it is not plain why, if the original narrative brought Lot safely to a cave in the mountains, a supplenicnter should have complicated matters by the introduction of the 'Zoar-episode'. It would be simpler to omit the cave-episode as an after thought (to account for the names Moab and Ammon).

But this is not the true remedy, which is - to apply textual criticism. There is a good parallel in 1 K. 1:8, 4:13, where another strange story is told about an occurrence in the cave ; probably (PROPHET, 7) mya there is a corruption of a place- name, and a beautiful consistency is restored to the legends of Elijah if we emend mya into nBli i 'Zarephath' (both Elijah and Elisha [see SHAPHAT] were connected with southern Zarephath). It is plausible, therefore, to emend mya here, top, into jinx> comparing Josh. 13:4, where (see MEARAH) the original text probably had 'Zarephath that belongs to the Misrim'. To do this, we must make the not improbable assumption that the city which in v. 20 the traditional text calls 7lysa. and in vv. 22-23, 30 lyi5, but which the original text must have called 7isa (Missur), was more fully called lisa nB~l!>> 'Zarephath of Missur' (cp Josh. 13:4, emended text). We shall have to return to this later (10).

The alternative is to suppose that here, but not in the other passages referred to, mya> is a corruption of Missur. The general sense of the passage is the same.

1 The gloss on BHB rt pa3y in v.3 is so absurd that Winckler even identifies the nVon D with lake Huleh in the N. His theory is a monument of ingenuity, but will not stand. Q< rten surely comes from D SiXCm 1 . and C lw H pcy from ri^yS D C O (cp a more frequent transformation of the latter word OtfO-l). 10n nT1N3 rm:O is simply SusnT vy2 ('by he city of Jerahmeel').

2 The presumption is that nys everywhere should be -pjo ; each alleged occurrence, however, needs to be separately considered (see Crit. Bib.).

3 According to Gunkel, the raining of brimstone from heaven is analogous to the Assyrian custom of strewing salt on the site of a destroyed city (cp SALT). But surely when the rain of brimstone fell, Sodom had not been destroyed. Nor can the custom referred to (which is really a symbol of consecration, see Ezek. 43:24, and cp SALT, 3) be illustrative of Yahwe's raining brimstone.

4 Read o S njnK for m,T nXO B-K1-

5 Ewald (GVI 2:223) quotes this passage in support of the theory that Yahwe was originally a sky-god. He compares Mic. 5:7 [5:6], 'as dew from Yahwe'. But it is the tautology that is startling.

(f) Am. 4:11, Is. 1:7. These are the two earliest of the passages in which niDrta (cp nrsri, Gen. 19:25) occurs as a kind of technical term for the legendary destruction of 'Sodom'. In Is. 1:7 the phrase is D"i) n^snOD, but we must, with most critics since Ewald, read cho CD (cp Dt. 29:22 [29:23], Jer. 49:18). In Am. 4:11 we find a longer and rather peculiar phrase, 'like Elohim's overturning of Sodom and Gomorrah' (so also Jer. 50:40). This is generally supposed to be due to a consciousness that the Sodom tradition was originally connected not with the religion of Yahwe, but with Canaanite heathenism ; cp Gen. 19:29 [P], 'when Elohim overturned the cities', etc.

The presumption is, however, that the Sodom-tradition is not of Canaanite but of Jerahmeelite origin. In this case it is not safe to insist that the story was not originally Yahwistic, for it seems probable that Yahwe was admitted by some of those who dwelt in the Negeb to be the god of the country. Some change in our critical theory is indispensable, and, having regard to what has been said elsewhere, it is not unreasonable to suppose that maynNI CTDVUX, wherever it occurs in the phrase referred to, is a later insertion, and that the true 'technical phrase' is ?HDr1T TCEnCD. 'like the catastrophe of Jerahmeel', 1 with the possible alternative of ctO C3> 'like the catastrophe of Sodom'.

(g) Hos. 11:8. It is not probable

  • (1) that 'Admah' and 'Zeboim' should be corrupt in Gen. 14:28 and correct in Hos. 11:8, and
  • (2) that we should not be told to whom Yahwe (in his present mood) declines to yield up his people.

There must be an error in the text ; and, with 10:6 before us (where 'Asshur' means the great N. Arabian power, and 'Jareb' is a corruption of Arab = Arabia) we can hardly be far wrong in restoring "?W2rrv for naiND, ^Kyatr for-p e-N, and -p;aN for c so:;:. 3 Thus the passage becomes, 'How shall I give thee up [to] Jerahmeel ? how shall I surrender thee [to] Ishmael?'

(h) Zeph. 2:9. This very questionable bit of Hebrew needs emendation. Read (after my]a, as 'Gomorrah') noctv S^arm ens, 'Cusham and Jerahmeel (shall be) a desolation for ever'. For us, the principal result of this is that the 'salt pits' (which suggest the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea) disappear. 1

(i) Ps. 116. The vagueness and also the excessive vehemence of this passage may well awaken suspicion. Probably we should read-

The Ishmaelites will give way, the Maacathites, the Rehobothites ;
A blast of horror is the portion of Cusham. 2

The figure is taken from the simoom [sic] ; there is no thought of the judgment of the 'ruined cities'.

1 DTl^N, like jrSy and oViy (see 6, n. 6), is one of the current distortions of ^nonT-

2 j was taken to be a fragment of y ; the final o comes from 3. The editor manipulated the corrupt text under the influence of an exegetical theory.

7. New theory.[edit]

It will be at once noticed that three out of the four still remaining difficulties in the story of Sodom disappear through the above criticism of the text. i. The cities were really, according to the earlier tradition, 'overthrown', not, however, by an earthquake, but by floods of water from that upper ocean which formed a part of the cosmic system of the Hebrews. 2. The scene of the catastrophe was, not beside the Dead Sea, but in the land of Jerahmeel, and we are justified in inferring from Gen. 13:10 that it was the district of Eden, where in primeval times the divine wonder-land had been visible, that suffered. It now becomes inevitable to conjecture that the original story of Sodom, or rather perhaps Selam, was the Deluge-story, or one of the Deluge-stories, of the Jerahmeelites. It is plain that such a story is needed to complete the cycle of racy Jerahmeelite tales of the Origines, and in dealing with the Deluge-story in Gen. 6-8 we have already found reason to hold that an earlier form of that story may have represented the Deluge as overwhelming the land of the Arabians and the Jerahmeelites, and the ark as settling on the mountains of Jerahmeel (PARADISE, 6). The unexpected coincidences between the Deluge-story and the Sodom-story confirm the view tentatively proposed before (PARADISE, l.c. ). We may take it, therefore, to be extremely probable that the Hebrew as well as, according to Jastrow, 3 the Babylonian narrative in its earliest form represented the Deluge as originally partial. Let us now trace the parallelisms between the Hebrew and Babylonian Deluge- story and the narrative in Gen. 19 (as emended).

Deluge-story. Gen. 19.
1. The righteous man, 'Noah' (6:9), or rather Hanok (see NOAH), or, as the great Babylonian story said, Parnapishtim. 1. The righteous man, Lot (19:1-8).
2. [Anger of the divinity against the city of Shurippak.] 2. [Anger of the elohim against the city of Sodom (19).]
3. The extreme corruptness of society (6:11-13, +). 3. The culminating act of wickedness (19:4-11).
4. The divine revelation (6:13+) 4. The divine revelation (19:12-13; cp 18:20-21)
5. A long-continued, destructive rain-storm (7:10-12, 7:17+) on the land of the Arabians and Jerahmeelites (7:4), or (with thunder and lightning) on the Babylonian city of Shurippak. 4 The latter lasted for seven days. 5. For seven days a destructive rain-storm on the cities of the whole of Jerahmeel (19:24-25).
6. Noah and his family delivered (7:13, 7:23b) 6. Lot and his family delivered (19:15+)
7. The ark grounds on the mountains of Aram (so read) - i.e., Jerahmeel (8:4), or (Babylonian) on the mountain of Nitsir. 7. Lot warned to escape to the mountains [of Jerahmeel] (19:17).

To these parallelisms we may add, though with some reserve, the parallelism between Hanok (Knoch), father of Methuselah (=Methusael = Ishmael) and grandfather of Lamech ( = Jerahmeel), and Lot, nephew or perhaps originally (cp 14:14, 14:16) brother of Abraham ( = Abraham = Father of Jerahmeel) and father of Moab (rather, Missur?) and Ammon (rather, Jerahmeel?). This parallelism is of importance, not for the story itself, but for ascertaining the particular ethnic origin of the story. It is not appropriate that the escaped righteous man (who in the earliest Deluge-myth was a solar hero) should have r.ny further concern with this earth. If Hanok (mythologically) was the father of Methuselah (Ishmael), and Lot the father of .Missur and Jerahmeel, it must in the original story have been before the Deluge. And even if Noah (Naham?) was really the name of the hero of the Deluge-story in chaps. (5-7, Naham is certainly a name of the Negeb (see NAHAM, NAHAMANI). Altogether, nothing can be more probable than that those who first arranged the Hebrew legends had their minds full of Jerahmeelite associations. We can now fully appreciate the remark of Gunkel (Gen. 195) that since the story of Sodom says nothing at all of water, although the site so strongly suggested this, it is plain that the scene of the narrative must originally have been elsewhere. Of course, the present place of the story and much besides is due to a skilful redactor.

It is true, the name of the hero is different. But there were presumably different forms of the Jerahmeelite as well as of the Babylonian Flood-story. Probably enough, there was another version in which Abraham was the hero ; comparing Gen. 8:1 ('God remembered Noah') with 19:29 ('God remembered Abraham'), one may, in fact, not unnaturally expect that Abraham, not Lot, should be the chief personage of the second story. The visit of the eluhirn to Abraham is an uneffaced indication that he originally was so. Certainly, something can still be said for Lot, who may originally have been greater than he now appears, and have been a worthy brother (see above) and rival of Abraham. But this is a pure conjecture, and one might even infer from 13:7-9 that Abraham and Lot originally belonged to the class (well represented in ancient legends) of hostile brothers, 1 and that Abraham corresponds to Abel (cp Remus) and Lot to Cain (cp Romulus). The legend might have taken this turn.

It is also true that in chap. 19 there is nowhere any trace of an underlying reference to the 'box' or 'chest' (a term specially characteristic of an inland country) in which the survivors were preserved, and that in 19:28 Abraham is said to have seen 'the smoke of the land going up as the smoke of a furnace'. But on the first point we may answer that if only Lot and his family were to be saved, no ark was necessary; the 'elohim' would convey the small party to a place of safety. And as for the other point, we must, at any rate, credit the last redactor with enough capacity to adjust a mutilated narrative to his own requirements.

1 Schwally (ZATW 10:188+) has already noticed the difficulties of MT, but has no adequate emendations.

2 See Ps. (2) Note that n"1231 nas been corrupted from TVOrMcp </).

3 Jastrow, who has partly traced the parallelism between the Sodom-story and the Deluge-story, writes thus : 'Moreover, there are traces in the Sodom narrative of a tradition which once gave a larger character to it, involving the destruction of all mankind, much as the destruction of Shurippak is enlarged by Babylonian traditions into a general annihilation of mankind' (RBA 507).

4 We assume here that a tradition of a storm which overwhelmed Shurippak has been fused with the tradition of a far larger flood in the Deluge-story in the epic of Gilgamesh (cp DELUGE, 22 : and especialjy Jastrow, Relig. Bab.-Ass. 507). That even the former tradition is historical, we are far from asserting. Nor do we deny that the Deluge-myth in its earliest form related to all mankind. See DELUGE. 18, 22.

8. Stucken's theory.[edit]

Stucken has offered another explanation of the legend which now occupies us. 2 According to him, the Sodom-and-Gomorrah-story was originally a 'dry' Deluge-story - i.e. a legend of the destruction of men by other means than a flood; such a story he finds in the Iranian legend of the Var (or square enclosure) constructed by Yima (see DELUGE, 20^), in the Peruvian and other stories of a general conflagration, and in the Egyptian story of the destruction of men by the gods. 3 Whether the combination of stories which refer to water with those which make no such reference is either theoretically or practically justified, may be questioned ; but we may, at any rate, admit that if the present text of Gen. 19:24 correctly represents the original story, the singular Egyptian story referred to is the nearest parallel to it. Here the 'Divine eye' is the executioner; it takes the form of the goddess Hathor, and slays men right and left with great, strokes of the knife. It seems to us, however,

  • (1) that it is much more probable that the Jerahmeelites had two forms of a proper Deluge-story than that one of the extant Deluge-stories was only such in a loose sense of the term, especially having regard to the Babylonian flood-stories, and
  • (2) that the difficulties of Gen. 19:24-25 call loudly for the application of textual criticism.

1 Stucken, however (Astralmythen, 87) points out that the distinction between friendly and hostile brothers in mythology is a fluid one.

2 Astralmythen, 96.

3 See Naville, TSBA 4:1-19 ; cp Maspero, Dawn of Civ. 164+.

9. Judg. 19:15-30.[edit]

Stucken seems happier in his explanation 1 of the parallelism between Gen. 19:1-11 and the strange story in Judg. 19:15-30. He thinks that both stories have the same mythological kernel - viz. , the tradition of the dividing of the body of the primaeval being Tiamat (the personified ocean-flood), with which compare also a series of myths of the division of the bodies of supernatural beings (e.g. , Osiris). It is in fact all the more difficult to believe that Gen. 19:1-11 and Judg. 19:15-30 stand at all early in the process of legendary development, because both the stories to which these passages belong are ultimately of Jerahmeelite origin. This may be assumed in the former case

  • (1) from the place which the 'Sodom'-story occupies among legends that are certainly in their origin Jerahmeelite, and
  • (2) probably from the legend of the origin of 'Missur' and 'Jerahmeel' (so read for 'Moab' and 'Ammon' in 19:37-38) which is attached to the 'Sodom'-story.

And it is hardly less clear a deduction in the latter case from the results of textual criticism. For the story in Judg. 19-20 can be shown to have referred originally not to Benjamin but to some district of the Jerahmeelite Negeb. 2

10. Result.[edit]

So far as the outward form of the story is concerned, our task is now finished. Now to resume and, if need be, supplement. Originally, it seems, there was but one visit of the elohim; it is to Abraham, not to Lot, that the visit was vouchsafed. Abraham (i.e. , in the Jerahmeelite story, a personification of Jerahmeel) was the one righteous man in the land. He received timely warning that those among whom he sojourned had displeased God, and the elohim took him away to be with God. Then came a rain-storm submerging all Jerahmeel. This original story, however, received modifications and additions. Lot or Lotan, the reputed son, not of Seir the Horite, but probably of Missur the Jerahmeelite, was substituted for Abraham, and a floating story of mythic origin (the myth spoke of violence done to a supernatural being) was attached to the story of Lot in a manipulated form, so as to explain and justify the anger of the elohim. After this a legend was inserted to account for the name Missur ; Lot had taken refuge at Missur, by divine permission, because it was but a 'little' city, and again another legend was added to record the circumstance that the people of Missur and Jerahmeel were descended from that righteous man, 3 who with his two daughters alone remained (the removal of the hero to the company of the elohim had been forgotten) in the depopulated land. (The names were afterwards corrupted.) Finally, a corruption in the text of 19:24 suggested that the scene of the story must have been in that 'awful hollow', that 'bit of the infernal regions come to the surface' which was at the southern (?) end of the Dead Sea. And the singular columnar formations of rock-salt at Jebel Usdum (cp DEAD SEA, 5) to which a myth resembling that of Niobe (originally a Creation myth ?) may perhaps already have become attached, 1 was appropriately transferred to the altered legend, and identified with Lot's wife. 2

1 Stucken, op. cit., 99+

2 There was probably a confusion between ps 33 (Benjamin) and |0;-J3 = SncnT-p. mi.V DrT7 TV} (Bethlehem-judah)= ^KDrrV JV3 (Beth-jerahmeel). The 'Gibeah' of the story was perhaps the Jerahmeelite Geba (Gibeah ?) mentioned in 2 S. 5:25 (cp: v. 22, and see REPHAIM). The 'Bethel' in Judg. 20:18 is the southern Bethel, repeatedly spoken of by Amos (see PROPHETIC LITERATURE, 10, 35). See Crit. Bib.

3 The genealogists often vary in particulars of relationship.

11. Religious suggestions.[edit]

It may be hoped that to many students it will appear no slight boon to be relieved from the supposition that the peoples with whom the early Israelites had intercourse were so much beneath them in n morality as the traditional text represents. Misunderstood mythology is the true source of the terrible narratives in Gen. 19:1-11, Judg. 19:15-30. At the same time no criticism can deprive us of the beneficially stern morality which is infused into a most unhistorical narrative. Apart from the plot of the story there are several points of considerable interest for the history of Israelite religion. Thus

  • (1) in 19:12-16 it is presupposed that the righteousousness of the good man delivers not only himself but his

whole house ; very different was the conviction of Ezekiel (14:14+).

  • (2) It is at eventide that the visits of the elohim are made, both to Abraham and to Lot. As the light of day wanes, man is more open to religious impressions; the Deity, too, loves to guard his mysteriousness, and performs his extraordinary operations by night (cp 32:25= [32:24+], Ex. 14:24). It is not unnatural to ask, how it comes about that elsewhere Yahwe is said to 'cover himself with light as it were with a garment' (Ps. 104:2), and to think of the influence of the Iranian religion.
  • (3) Unmeaning repetitions in prayer may be useless ; but repetitions which show earnestness are considered by the narrator to be aids, not hindrances. It is a mistake, as Gunkel remarks, to speak of Lot's 'weakness of faith'.
  • (4) But, if we may treat Abraham's converse with Yahwe as a part of the narrative (it does in fact belong thanks to a supplementer to the section which links the Abraham-prelude to the Lot-story), we have a riper fruit of religious thought in 18:23-32. 'Not for Lot alone, but for all the righteous men in Sodom, his prayer is uttered, and it is based upon a fine sense of justice : "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" And what is right? Not the mere prescription of a legal code ; justice must be softened by compassion. Each of the supposed ten righteous men of Sodom has links innumerable binding him to his fellow-citizens. Is he to be sent abroad without any of those to whom nature or custom has attracted him ? No ; a single righteous man can at least (as in the case of Noah) save his family, and " for ten's sake I will not destroy the city" (New World, 1:245).

It must not be thought that because mythology and, more widely regarded, the popular imagination have largely influenced the Hebrew narratives, they are therefore to a trained eye devoid either of historical or of religious interest.

1 These perishable formations change from year to year, as Blanckenhorn remarks (ZDPV 19:34, n. i). The Lot's Wife of Warren may have altered since 1870. But others will no doubt arise. On the connections of the story see Stucken, 83. no, and especially 231. For a late Arabian legendary 'Lot's wife' see Palmer, Desert of the Exodus.

2 'Not much greater variety is there between the story of Lot's wife's transformation into a pillar of salt and Niobe's into a stone'. So wrote the old Anglican theologian, Dean Jackson (Works, 1:100).

12. Literature.[edit]

To the books and articles cited under DEAD SEA, add the commentaries of Dillmann, Holzinger, and especially Gunkel; also Cheyne, New World, 1:230-245 ; Kraetzschmar, ZATW 17:81-92 ; Stucken, Astralmythen, Part 2, 'Lot' ('the myths attached to the name of Lot are the torso of a primitive myth').

T. K. C.


(D tD |S3), Dt. 32:32. See SODOM, begin, n. 2 ; VINE, 2.


(coAoM&) Rom. 9:29, RV SODOM.


(mare Sodomiticum], 2 Esd. 5:7. See DEAD SEA.




p-nan J3. 2 Ch. 25:13; CTRATICOTHC, Mt. 8:9 etc. ). See ARMY, WAR, 4.


(n bX* ; ; coAOMCON), son of David by Bathsheba, and his successor as king of Israel.

[LXX favours the form po^gr . In the best MSS aoAojLuoy [salomoon] and (raAto/utop [saloomoon] alternate ; croAo^.wi [solomoon] almost always in NT ; in Acts 7:47, however, Ti. with NAC (against BDEFr) adopts a-aAw/Luoy [saloomoon], but Treg. and WH <ro\on<ui> [solomoon]. Cp Lag., Ubers. 53 86 96.]

1. Name.[edit]

The superficially plausible derivation from shalom, Di^p 'peace' is retained by Kittel (Kon. 6), but is against the analogy of the other names (critically regarded) in David's family. Another explanation has lately been proposed with abundant learning and ingenuity. After summarising it, we will pass on to a third view. According to Winckler, 1 the name na^r refers to a divine name cSt? [ShLM] (shlm), which is attested in the Phoenician proper name D ye JS p and allusively in the title cVtr~itr (Is. 9:6 [9:5]).

Another form of the name of this deity was Shalman (cp the Assyrian royal name, Shalman-asharidu, and the SaAa/xai- [salaman] of Greek inscriptions). This god is identified with Resheph, and was therefore a Canaanite Apollo. According to Winckler, the king's true name was Dodiah ( = Jedidiah, 2 S. 12:25) ; the name Shelomo or 'Solomon', like 'Bath-sheba' (='daughter of the Moon-god'), is of mythological origin, and was given to the king by later writers in connection with 'the transference of the legend of Semiramis-Bilkis to Sheba'. In fact, the only com plete parallel to the form Shelomo comes, according to him, from Arabia (Salama). Elsewhere (Preuss. Jahrbb. 104, 269 ; cp GI 2:286) Winckler puts the mythological connection thus: 'Formed from the divine name Shelem (Ass. Salman). It corresponds to Nebo whom it designates as the god of the winter-half of the year (shelim is the west = Ass. shulum, sunset)'.

It would seem that this acute critic somewhat exaggerates the bearings of mythology on onomatology. Certainly the analogy of the other names in David s family (as explained by the present writer) seems to be opposed to this scholar s explanation. That Jonathan is composed, as Winckler and most scholars suppose, of a divine name and a verb, is due, as could easily be shown at length, to misapprehension. 'Jonathan' is only another form of NETHANIAH (q.v.) , it is a modification of the ethnic name Nethani = Ethani, Ethanite. That David is a modification of a divine name is not impossible (cp DOD, NAMES WITH), but is opposed to the analogies of Dodiah (if this name is really correct) and of Dodi (MT Dodo, Dodai). It is quite as possible that Dod (whatever its ultimate origin) was an ethnic, and if, following analogies, we seek for an ethnic as the original of nchv, we cannot be blind to the existence of "?xyctr [YShMA'L] and of ,-rcVc (see 2). For the pronunciation naSe [ShLMH] later writers are responsible. The true text of 2 S. 12:24-25 seems to suggest another pronunciation, Shillumo (or Shallumo?), arising out of the story of David's sin. See JEDIDIAH.

1 Wi. GI 2:223; KAT (3) 224. For the view of another Assyriologist see Sayce, Hibb. Lect. 57 ; Early History, 425 ; cp Simpson, The Jonah Legend, 141-142.

2. Early history.[edit]

It is a long road which leads to the later conception of 'Solomon in all his glory'. We are here only concerned with the strict facts, without idealisation, which of course does not mean that we have no sense for poetry, and no sympathy with the changes of popular feeling. The story of Solomon's birth is given in 2 S. 11:2-12:25 - a composite narrative which has already received consideration (see BATHSHEHA, JEDIDIAH). Certainly there is much to learn from it ; certainly we should wish to include it in a selection of fine Hebrew narratives. But with unfeigned regret we must pronounce it to be in the main unhistorical. The name Bathsheba, indeed, and the historical character of its bearer are, one may venture to hold, even after Winckler's arguments, alike secure. Just as jmN mp (Kirjath-arba?) is not 'the city of Four' (the god whose numerical symbol was four), so yi& m (Bathsheba) is not 'the daughter of Seven' (the god whose numerical symbol was seven i.e. , the Moon-god, cp SHEBA), and consequently Bathsheba is not a mere pseudo-historical reflection of Ishtar, the mythological daughter of the Moon-god.

We may, however, admit that the story of David s treachery to URIAH (q.v. ) probably developed out of a current oriental legendary germ, without of course disparaging the value of the Bathsheba story as given in 2 S. 11:2-12:25 for other than purely historical purposes. And we must also claim the right to extract a fragment of history from 2 S. 11:27, 12:15b-25, rightly read, and illustrated by the story of Solomon's accession in 1 K. 1-2 , and by the lists of David's sons in 2 S. 3:2+, 1 Ch. 3:1+ The 'fragment of history' is that Solomon had another name, which name is given in our present text as Jedidiah. 1

Passing next to 1 K. 1-2, we find reason to think with Winckler that Solomon's opposition to the claim of Adonijah to succeed David was due not to his own and Bathsheba's selfish ambition, but to the consideration that after the successive deaths of Amnon and Absalom he, not Adonijah, was the legitimate heir to the throne. Here, however, we part from Winckler. Bathsheba is for us no mythological figure, but the true mother of Solomon ; she is in fact identical with Abigail. 2 That Solomon s mother should bear two names in the tradition is not more surprising than that a king who oppressed the Israelites in early times should be called both Jabin (Jamin) - i.e., Jerahmeel - and Sisera - i.e. , Asshur - both Jerahmeel and Asshur being N. Arabian ethnic names (see SHAMGAR ii., 2). Bathsheba is in fact equivalent to Bath-Eliam (2 S. 11:3) or Bath-Ammiel (1 Ch. 3:5).

The name Bathsheba represents Abigail as an Ishmaelite woman (U3r.Ta = iroa "ra = [ ?>X 1 li?2B "rn) the name Abigail, as a Jerahmeelite. But Ishmael and Jerahmeel are often used as synonyms; the same woman could therefore be called a daughter of Ishmael and a. daughter of Jerahmeel. So too noSs" and the name out of which ,TTT [Jedidiah] has probably been corrupted - viz. ^NQnV [jerahmeel] - are equivalents. Salma describes its bearer as having Ishmaelite or Salmaean affinities (see 1, end), Jedidiah as being Jerahmeelite by extraction. The latter name too, appears to be given to the son of Abigail in the true text of 2 S. 3:3 and 1 Ch. 3:1, where the respective readings 3x^3 and SN JT are manifestly wrong, and both most probably presuppose the same original S,x~T.

Adonijah's claim to the throne, however, must have been based upon some theory. If he was not the oldest living son of David, he may yet have been the oldest of those born after David s accession. 3 Probably David both favoured his pretensions and accepted him as co-regent. Unfortunately Adonijah neglected to bring over to his side the so-called 'Cherethites and Pelethites' (Rehobothites and Zarephathites), 4 who formed the royal body-guard, and with the aid of their leader Benaiah, Solomon compelled the old king to reject Adonijah.

In 1 K. 2:17 (cp v. 21 ) it is stated that Adonijah desired leave to make Abishag the Shunammite his wife (cp WRS, Kinship, 88+). It is possible that Solomon, with the same object as Adonijah, actually took 'Abishag' (the name comes from gy^ B, like Bilkis in the Semiramis legend from TraXXa/a s [pallakis]) into his harem, and that Rehoboam was the son of Solomon by 'Abishag'. See SHUNAMMITE.

Upon this theory Solomon was not one of the sons born to David at Jerusalem (2 S. 5:14, 1 Ch. 3:5-8), and the traditional view of his age at his accession, 5 based on very insecure data, needs to be revised. Certainly the narrative in 1 K. 1-2 does not favour the view that Solomon was a young man (the rhetorical language of 1 K. 3:76, 1 Ch. 29:1, 22:5 cannot be regarded as decisive) ; the hero of the coup d'etat displays all the adroitness and astuteness of a practised politician. How Solomon treated his opponents is stated elsewhere (ADONIJAH, ABIATHAR, JOAB, SHIMRI) ; the story, which has a basis of fact (HISTORICAL LITERATURE, 1), makes it difficult for a modern to idealise this despotic prince. It is singular that 'Nathan the prophet' should have assumed the prominent position which belongs rather to Benaiah ; but ampler justice is done to the priest ZADOK (q.v.) for his energetic support of the son of 'Bathsheba'. It is probable that the Jerusalem priesthood exacted a very full recompense, and that fresh favours conferred on their body bore fruit for Solomon in the early idealisation of his conduct as a sovereign.

1 That the text of 2 S. 12:24-25 is not in its original form, is evident ; a possible restoration will be found elsewhere (see JEDIDIAH). The present form of the text seems to be due to an editor who thought Jedidiah ('beloved of Yahwe?') too good a name for the first child. By assigning this name to Solomon he unconsciously made a concession to historical facts. For S. A. Cook's theory, see AJSL 16:156-157 [1900], and cp JEDIDIAH.

2 Abigail probably = Abihail (see NABAL), and Abihail appears ultimately to come from Jerahmeel.

3 Wi. GI 2;245.

4 The explanation of 'Cherethites and Pelethites' (see JUDAH, 4, PELETHITES) here given, is not that of Winckler ; but (like S. A. Cook, AJSL 16:177, n. 61 [April 1900]) this able critic recognises, quite independently of the present writer, that this faithful warrior-band came from the Negeb.

5 LXX{A} (1 K. 2:12), with about twenty other MSS and some versions (Arm. etc.), gives Solomon only twelve years at his accession, and Jerome (cp 132 ad Vitalem) asserts that the 'hebraica veritas' agrees with LXX. Josephus (Ant. 8:7:8) gives his age as fourteen ; he also says that he lived to 94 ! For other traditional statements, see Nestle, ZATW, 1882, pp. 312+, and Theol. Stud, aus Wurtemberg, 1886, p. 160-161 ; Kaufmann, ZATW, 1883, p. 185; Gamier, Rev. de theol. et de philos., Nov. 1886; Lagarde, Mittheil. 2:40, n. i. Stade (GVI 1:297) says, not less than twenty years old ; Kittel (Kon. 6), referring to 1 K. 11:42, 14:21, doubtfully suggests eighteen.

3a. Buildings.[edit]

Was the substitution of Zadok for Abiathar accompanied by changes in the cultus at Jerusalem? 2 It is a question which baffles the critical student. The narrators give us much that we could have spared, and withhold much that would have been of great value to us. Their own interest is largely absorbed in the buildings of Solomon, especially in that of the temple. That the description in its present form comes (as Kittel supposes) from the Annals, seems hardly probable ; as it now stands, it may perhaps represent a later age, to which the temple in particular had become a subject of learned but not altogether sober inquiry. See KINGS [BOOK], 6, PALACE, TEMPLE (and cp Stade, GVI 1:318+, and ZATW , 1883, pp. 129+). It is even to some extent doubtful whether the whole story of the building of a temple of Yahwe as well as of a royal palace outside the city of David is not due to misapprehension. According to Winckler (GI 2:252+) the true temple of Solomon was merely a renovation of the old sanctuary of David on its original site - i.e., within the city of David - though it must apparently be admitted (see MILLO) that this scholar s explanation of millo and consequently the form in which he presents his theory needs reconsideration.

1 Schwally (ZATW, 1892, p. 156) doubts whether Nathan was really a prophet. That N 33n ('the prophet') should probably be "IHJri, 'the Nadabite', is pointed out elsewhere (PROPHET, 6).

2 See Winckler (KAT (3) 234), who inclines to think that Zadok was introduced by the later legend in the interests of the monotheistic idea.

3b. Hiram.[edit]

There is, however, another point, not less important, and more capable of solution. According to the tradition in its present form (MT and LXX), the timber for building the temple was furnished, together with artificers, by Hiram king of Tyre. The relation thus indicated between Israel and the Tyrian king is, if accurately reported, in the highest degree remarkable. If, as Winckler, who follows MT, interprets what he thinks the historical truth, the king of Israel was in vassalage to the king of Tyre (?), how is it that after Solomon's time we hear nothing of attempts on the part of Tyre to strengthen its hold upon Israel, and on the part of Israel to free itself from Tyrian supremacy? True, all on a sudden, in the ninth century, we hear of an Israelitish king marrying a daughter of 'Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians' (1 K. 16:31). This, however, is an equally singular and an equally suspicious statement, when we consider that the most influential power in the politics of Israel and Judah (putting aside Assyria) was not Tyre but the N. Arabian Musri. Now it so happens that, as Winckler too, with extreme moderation holds, iis (Tyre?) is miswritten for TIXD (Missur?) in Am. 1:9 and Ps. 87:4 (cp TYRE). What, then, is there to hinder us from supposing (if other critical considerations favour this view) that the same error has occurred elsewhere? JITS, also, is undoubtedly miswritten sometimes for -nxa or pap. How, then, do we know that 'king of the D JTX' in 1 K. 16:31 should not rather be 'king of the c"ixc', in which case ^jnrm (cp SyaE N) should of course be ^NyDB"? The probability that Ahab s matrimonial connection was with Musri, not with Tyre, has been referred to under PROPHET (7); and when we take into consideration a fact which will be referred to presently - viz. that Solomon's principal wife was a Misrite princess - we shall see that if he went anywhere outside the land of Israel proper for timber, political interests would naturally impel him to go to the N. Arabian Musri. (We assume provisionally that the wooded mountain districts of the Negeb were not in Solomon's possession.) Nor must we forget that 'Ahiram' (whence 'Hiram') is one of the most probable popular corruptions of 'Jerahmeel. 1 Ahiram or Hiram might indeed be the name of a king of Tyre; but it might also (cp Aholiab = Jerahmeel ?) be that of a N. Arabian artificer.

It would not be critical to urge against this view of the seat of Hiram's kingdom that Josephus 2 quotes a passage from the Tyrian history of Menander of Ephesus and another from that of Dios, in which Eipw/xo? [heiroomos], king of Tyre, son of .\/3<./3aAos [abibaalos], is said to have had intercourse with 'Solomon, king of Jerusalem'. The date of Menander and Dios is presumably in the second century B.C., and though we may credit them when they tell us of the succession of the kings of Tyre, and of events not legend ary in character which they can only have known from ancient authorities - i.e., from the Tyrian archives (which Josephus positively asserts that Menander at least had inspected), 2 we cannot venture to trust them when they touch upon matters closely related to the then current Jewish history. Thus when Menander (in Jos. Ant. 8:13:2) tells us that there was a drought in Phoenicia, which lasted for a year, and was closed through the potent supplications of Wtofiakos [Ithoobalos], king of Tyre, we divine at once that this is directed against the Jewish statement that a long drought in the land of Israel was terminated through the intercessions of Elijah, 4 and when E ipio^.os [hieroomos] is said by Menander and Dios (Jos. Ant. 8:5:3) to have had a match of riddle-guessing with Solomon, we can see that this is based on the Jewish story of the riddles by which the queen of Sheba tested Solomon (1 K. 10:1).

We have no extra-biblical authority for doubting that if Solomon was indebted for building materials and artificers to any foreign king, it was to the king of Misrim, not to the king of Tyre. According to the most probable text of 2 S. 8:2, 12:31 David had conquered both Missur and Jerahmeel (see Crit. Bib. , and cp SAUL), so that if we hear of a king of Missur in the reign of Solomon, we may assume that he for a time at any rate owned the supremacy of the king of Israel. If so, there is nothing inconsistent in the double statement that Solomon had his own workmen in the mountains (1 K. 5:13+ [5:27+]), and that Hiram sent workmen to cut down wood at Solomon's request. 5 Nominally, the mountain country of Jerahmeel (called, as we shall see, Gebalon) was a part of Solomon's dominions, so that as suzerain he had a right to send workmen to do his bidding. 1 The forms of courtesy, however, may have required that he should request the vassal-king to send his own more skilled labourers to direct and to aid those of Solomon, and in order to prevent war from breaking out between Israel and Missur during the long building operations 2 at Jerusalem, as well as to foster a more friendly feeling based upon mutual services, the Israelitish king is reported to have paid Hiram (Jerahmeel) annually large quantities of wheat and oil. 3

1 Kittel (on 1 Ch. 14:1) prefers the form Huram ; Schrader (KAT (2) 170), Hirom. Cp HIRAM, end. The view taken above seems to the present writer the best. Urumilki is attested as a Phoenician royal name in an inscription of Sennacherib (KAT (2)185, cp also ^CIN, a n ancestor of Yehawmelek, CIS 1. no. i), and Urumilki probably = Jerahmeel.

2 Ant. 8:5:3 (144-149); c. Ap. 1:17-18 (112-120).

3 Dios, too, says Josephus, was trusted for his exactness (c. Ap. 1:17:112).

4 Winckler (KAT (3) 250) gives a different explanation of Menander's assertion, which, however startling, might be acceptable, if it did not presuppose the traditional Hebrew text of the Book of Kings.

5 As the text stands, Solomon asks Hiram for help in the hewing of timber (1 K. 5:1-10). It is in the hewing of stone that Solomon's labourers are represented as taking a prominent part.

We are obliged sometimes, however reluctantly, to form historical conjectures, and this seems to be the most conservative one which, on the present subject, with due account of textual criticism, can be made plausible ; but the fact, mentioned at a later point (section 7), of the ill-feeling which Cusham or Aram ( = Jerahmeel) bore to Israel leads us to question its accuracy. Only by force and by the transplantation of part of the subject population (2 S. 12:31, see SAW) could David keep his hold on the Jerahmeelite Negeb. It is probable that Solomon found it even more difficult than his father to do this, and from 1 K. 9:11-14 it would appear that Solomon was forced by the king of Missur to cede to him twenty cities in the land of Jerahmeel, and over and above this to pay a hundred and twenty talents of gold. 4

The existence of a grave historical problem cannot, it would seem, be denied. We have offered the best solution of it at our disposal. It only needs to be added that the misstatement that Solomon procured timber and workmen from the king of Tyre must have been facilitated by the fact that the name 'Hiram' was actually borne by a king of Tyre, and that it was favoured by the observation of later Jews that the mountains of the Negeb were not in their time abundantly wooded (the trees having been cut down), whereas Lebanon was still well provided with timber. Whether, as Winckler supposes, part of the Lebanon was in the possession of Solomon, need not here be considered.

It is important, however, to mention these necessary corrections of names in MT.

  • (1) The mountain country where timber was sought (1 K. 5:6) was called, not Lebanon, but Gebalon (from Ar. jibal, cp GEBAL), the people of which are, in 1 K. 5:18, called 'Gebalites'. The same correction is plausible elsewhere, e.g., Is. 14:8, Zech. 11:1, etc.
  • (2) In 1 K. 9:11, 13 ^jn and Si^j are both popular corruptions of *?NCn"r.
  • (3) In 1 K. 10:11-12, 2 Ch. 2:8 [2:7], 9:10-11 the 'almuggim' or 'algummim' timber should rather be designated 'Jerahmeel' timber. It came (2 Ch. 2:8 [2:7]) not from Ophir, but from Lebanon - i.e., Gebalon. Cp ALMUG TREES (end), where the theory mentioned - that almug-wood came from Lebanon (2 Ch. 2:8) - points in the direction of the critical view here recommended.

1 The SwatrTevfiara [dynasteumata] (?) which Solomon opened in Lebanon (Gebalon?) according to LXX{BA} (Swatrrfvovra [dynasteuonta], LXX{L}) in 1 K. 2:46c may, as Winckler thinks, have been mines. See Winckler, Alt. Unt. 176; GI 2:261, n. 2.

2 Twenty years are assigned to them in 1 K. 9:10 ; cp 6:38, 7:1.

3 1 K. 5:11 [5:25], where for the second 1b3 read n2 (see COR).

4 The best part of this is due to Winckler (GI 2:262 ; KAT (3) 237). He thinks that the original which underlies the present text of 1 K. 9:14 is nxa IS ~\hc^> (CTn) nVtrii where Q-rn is a gloss inserted at the wrong place. The sense is, 'and he (viz. Solomon) sent to the king of Tyre [Hiram] 120 talents of gold', i.e., Solomon had to make up for the inadequate cession of territory by a large payment in gold. The king, however, with whom Solomon had to do was not Tyrian but Misrite, and the ceded territory not 'Galilean' but Jerahmeelite.

5 1 K. 5:18 [5:32] should run ^KCrn* JIH SNJ Cr :3 iVoBH C 733n; 'and the Ishmaelites and the Jerahmeelites - the Gebalites - fashioned them'. Without the key to the names critics have been obliged to assume a deep corruption of the text (cp GEBAL, 1).

6 All the names here quoted, except the first, are Jerahmeelite. The tribes of Judah and Dan were both largely mixed with Jerahmeelites.

7 His father was a Misrite (nsc not ijj), his mother either a Naphtuhite ( HPIS:, not S? 2 ?) or a Ignite, in either case a woman of the Negeb. See K. 7:14 ; 2 Ch. 2:14, and cp NEPHTOAH.

4. Commerce.[edit]

We need not deny that Solomon was a builder, or that he was aided by Jerahmeelite artificers (for which we have partial analogies in Bezalel, b. Uri b. Hur and Oholiab. b. Ahisamach, in Ex. 31). One of these (whose father was a Misrite, but his mother an Israelite of the Negeb) bore the same name as that assigned to the Misrite king - viz. Hiram, i.e. , Jerahmeel ; the Chronicler (2 Ch. 2:12 [2:13]) calls him Hurani-abi, but this surely must be the same name C?NDrrv= 3N DTin)- Cp HIRAM, 2, and on the place where he did his work (1 K. 7:46) see TEBAH. Nor need we altogether reject the other traditions of the intercourse between Solomon and 'Hiram'. If the view of the historical facts underlying 1 K. 9:11-14 adopted above be correct - i. e. , if hostilities broke out between the king of Missur and Solomon, in which Israel was worsted - it is reasonable to suppose that the war was occasioned, not only by the craving for revenge, but also by a desire on 'Hiram's' part for commercial expansion. Having no port of his own, he was glad to use EZION-GEBER (t/.v.), at the head of the Gulf of 'Akabah, which formed part of Solomon s dominion. Hiram had indeed no mariners to send, but he sent 'servants' of his own - i.e. , commissioners and merchants - to buy and sell at the places where the ships might touch. The chief object which both kings longed for was naturally gold ; Ophir, the port of the great Arabian or E. African gold-land, was the goal of these early voyagers (see GOLD, IVORY, OPHIR, TRADE, 49).

The very different, commonly-held, opinion that at Ezion-geber (which [Solomon] retained, in spite of the return to Edom of prince Hadad) a ship was built, similar to those employed by the Phoenicians in their voyages to Tarshish (and hence called Tarshish ships), and manned in part by experienced Tyrian sailors, and that 'from that port it was dispatched at intervals of three years to Ophir, bringing back thence gold, silver, ivory, valuable woods, and precious stones, as well as curious animals such as apes and peacocks', 1 appears to rest on an inaccurately transmitted text and a not sufficiently thorough-going historical criticism. The best form that gratitude to past critics can take is surely not to repeat temporary conclusions, but to carry forward their work. We venture, therefore, to present some of the most pressing changes of view to which we have recently been led by independent research.

Even apart from the rendering of 2X'] (1 K. 9:26, LXX vaiis [naus]) by 'ship' (RV, 'a navy of ships'), which has had the authority of Hitzig and Kittel 2 (Hist. 2:189), and the question as to the history of Hadad, there is much that is very doubtful in the opinion referred to. The 'apes' and 'peacocks' are considered elsewhere (see especially OP HIR, PEACOCKS); on the difficult question relative to the mention of silver as well as of gold in 1 K. 10:22, see SILVER, 2. 'Valuable woods' should rather be 'a rare, fragrant wood, analogous to the spices or spice-plants of the queen of Sheba' (read C ?nN - i.e., eagle-wood [see ALOES]), not C fpSx - i.e., Jerahmeelite wood). The three passages bearing on Hiram's participation in the Ophir expeditions are (a) 1 K. 9:27, (b) 10:11, (c) 10:22.

  • As for (a), the true text, translated, should probably run, 'And Hiram sent his servants, Jerahmeelites, on the ships with the servants of Solomon'. nvjN C 3N > s a corruption of D^Nj CtS", and Q n <y-j> of G SKOrlT- Either 'Jerahmeelites' or (better) 'Ishmaelites' is a gloss or variant.
  • In (b) we should read, 'And also the merchant-ships . . . brought from Ophir very much eagle-wood and precious stones'. DTn should be irib (0 and confounded) ; cp Prov. 31:14.
  • In (c) 'for the king had at sea ships (galleys) with oars' 3 (aica 3N) ; to this was added in the earlier text "inb 3N, 'merchant ships' (omit CJ?, an editorial insertion), which is a gloss on Q >jx. The phrase 'Tarshish ships' is a hopeless puzzle until we apply methodical textual criticism to the Hebrew phrase. See TARSHISH, 7.

1 Wade, Old Testament History (1901), 299.

2 In HK, 'Kon.', 87, and KGH, 'Jes.', 298, however, Kittel adopts the collective meaning 'fleet'.

3 See TARSHISH, 7, where trc^ JK, Is. 33:21, is compared.

4 It is indeed difficult to imagine a king of Egypt giving one of his daughters to a vassal king (cp WMM, As. u. Eur. 390) in Palestine.

5. Wives.[edit]

a. Misrite princess.[edit]

That Solomon, at one period of his life, had friendly relations with Musri is shown by his marrying a daughter of Pir'u king of Misrim (so beyond doubt we should read in 1 K. 3:1, 9:16 in place of the very improbable MT 4 ). This was pointed out by the present writer, 1 and afterwards independently by Winckler. To the notice of the marriage in 3:1 it is added in 9:16 that Pir'u took the field against a certain city, slew its inhabitants, and gave it as a portion to his daughter, Solomon's wife.- The place is called in the traditional text Gezer, and its inhabitants Canaanites ; but both Judg. 1:29 and Josh. 16:10 lead us to doubt this, and it is in itself more probable that for 113 (Gezer) we should read -\^i (Geshur), and for jjuan (the Canaanite), as elsewhere, ijpn (the Kenizzite) ; some place in the far SW. of Palestine is presumably intended (see GESHUR, 2).

Kittel (cp Burney, Hastings, DB 2862a) does well to separate 9:16-17a (as far as -|jj) from vv. 17b-22 ; it has evidently been taken from a context which spoke of the marriage. At the same time its present context is full of interest, and we must return to it later (7).

b. Queen of Sheba.[edit]

The Arabian land of SHEBA (q.v.), too, was interested, as legend asserted, in Solomon. Its queen is said to have actually come to Jerusalem to test Solomon's wisdom. 3 According to Kent (Hist, of the Hebrew People, 1:179) the object of her visit was to bring about a commercial treaty with Solomon. But surely the form of the legend is late. It is Tiglath-pileser and Sargon who tell us of queens of 'mat Aribi', and 'mat Aribi' (see KAT (2) 414) is not Sheba ; indeed, the Sabaean empire arose much later than Solomon. Probably, as Winckler suggests (GI 2:267), the queen of Sheba is but a reflection of the Misrite princess whom Solomon married. How Solomon came to be called the wise king, par excellence, is not clear. If it meant originally that he was as skilful in preserving, as his father had been in creating, a kingdom, the epithet was greatly misplaced. More probably, however, the title arose from the close intercourse between Solomon and the N. Arabian kings and kinglets. The Misrites and the Jerahmeelites were celebrated for their wise proverbs and apologues. To heighten Solomon's glory, it was stated by the later legend that, just as he was greater than his neighbours in war, so he excelled them in their own special province of wisdom (see 1 K. 5:9-10 [4:30-31]). How far Babylonian influences affected him we are unable to say positively. But the phenomena of the early Genesis stories as explained by the present writer lead him to think that N. Arabia transmitted quite as much as Babylonia, though in doing so it could not avoid augmenting a mass of ideas and beliefs ultimately of Babylonian origin. See SHAVSHA, also CREATION, PARADISE, and cp EAST [CHILDREN OF], ETHAN, HEMAN, MAHOL.

1 JQR, July 1889, pp. 559-560. Cp Winckler, GI 2:263 ; KAT (3) 236.

2 Maspero's expansion of this passage (MT) in Struggle of the Nations, 738, is unduly imaginative.

3 Menander of Ephesus (as we have seen) represents Solomon and Hiram as the rival sages.

4 Cp Kittel, Hist. 2:186 ; M'Curdy, HPM 2:155 (section 524).

5 Other passages to be referred to presently seem to show that the N. Arabian subject population was specially employed in the corvee, though if Israelites had to do forced labour, the surviving Canaanites would of course not be spared. It is not well to attempt a too positive solution of such problems.

6. Solomon's despotism.[edit]

Legend also lays great stress on Solomon's just judgment - a capacity for which was indeed one aspect of Hebrew 'wisdom'; but there is no satisfactory evidence for this, and the highly oriental story in 1 K. 3:16-28 has a striking parallel in a Buddhist Jataka. We can, however, most probably assert that Solomon was highly despotic in his methods ; on this, historians who differ widely on other points are agreed. 4 If we are rightly informed, Solomon treated both the Israelites and the surviving Canaanites 5 as only good enough to labour, like the Egyptian fellahs till recently, at the royal buildings (5:13-14 [5:27-28], cp 12:18). He is also said to have divided the country ('all Ishmael' ?) into twelve departments (to a large extent, it would seem, independent of tribal divisions), each of which was under a deputy or prefect (aw, 4:7 = ]%!i3, v. 19), charged with the duty of keeping up a constant supply of court luxuries, and also, we may be sure, of collecting the taxes, and perhaps too of providing forced labour. l In the Lebanon (? Gebalon ) alone he is said to have had 10,000 labourers constantly employed (5:14 [5:28]). The overseer of the corvee was the hated Adoniram (1 K. 4:6, 5:14; cp 12:18). No wonder that discontent became rife, especially in the powerful tribe of Ephraim. How a leader of the rebels was found is told elsewhere (see JEROBOAM, i).

At the same time there are certain passages in our composite narrative which may make us hesitate to accept the darkest picture of Solomon s despotism. In 9:20-22, which we may hesitate to regard as merely a late attempt to whitewash Solomon's character,- it is expressly said that the corvee was limited to non-Israelites. And the singular statements respecting the number of Solomon's 'stalls of horses' (4:26 [4:56]) and of his chariots and horsemen (10:26), when critically inspected, appear rather to be statements respecting the number of his Cushite, Jerahmeelite, and Zarephathite servants (see Crit. Bib.). The narrative in 1 K. 12 no doubt ascribes the separation of N. and S. to the hateful corvee ; but the account is too anecdotal to be strictly historical, and surely the forced service, so far as it existed, pressed heavily on the S. as well as on the N.

Certainly Jeroboam was an Ephrathite. But there may have been a southern, as well as a northern, Ephrath ; Jeroboam s mother (see JEROBOAM, 1) was a Misrite, and the name of his clan (see NEHAT) may plausibly be explained as Arabian. And as fOr the statement (11:28) that Jeroboam was placed 'over the labour of the house of Joseph', it is possible that here and in Am. 5:6 PQV (r,Q<) has been miswritten for ce" = "?t<j;CB" (Ishmael). 3

1 The brevity of the above statement is justified by the present state of textual criticism. The document to which it refers (1 K. 4:7-7:8 [5:8]) is admittedly obscure. 'The text', says Benzinger, 'is a good deal corrupted, and has received interpolations'. In special articles on the names ( see also FOWL, FATTED) some of the difficulties are dealt with. The point of view, however, in these articles is not more advanced than that of critical commentators in general. A further application of the key which Winckler (only half-conscious of its wide-reaching consequences) put into our hands, when he showed that C"1SD sometimes stood for D HsS - i.e., the N. Arabian Musri - and that this country exercised a persistent political influence on the Israelites, has result:, which, if correct, are of the utmost importance for the early regal period of the history of Israel. It becomes probable that Kittel's remark (which was thoroughly justified from a conservative textual point of view) that the table of prefects 'only concerns Israel proper, inasmuch as the conquered territories are referred to (4:21 [4:51]) in a different style', is the reverse of the fact. The present writer holds that the twelve prefects were placed not over 'all Israel' (as the traditional text has) but over 'all Ishmael' (a parallel error to that in 2 S. 24:12; see TAHTIM-HODSHI) - i.e., over the Negeb - that in 4:22-23 [5:2-3] the account of Solomon s provision for one day has grown out of a list of the peoples or tribes of the Negeb, and that in 4:26 [5:6] the true text affirms that the Cushites, Jerahmeelites, Ishmaelites, and Zarephathites were servants to Solomon, 1 K.4:20 is the only passage which distinctly breaks the connection. See Crit. Bib.

2 This is the view of Kittel and Benzinger. The statements of 9:20-22 are thought by them to be refuted by a reference to 5:13 [5:27], 11:28, 12:4. The text of these passages, however, will not bear the stress that is laid upon it. See preceding note (near end).

3 On Am. 6:1-14, which appears to the present writer to refer to the Israelites settled in the Negeb, see Crit. Bib.

7. Was he lord of the Negeb?[edit]

We have assumed that Solomon's relation to Musri was not that of supremacy, but that of dependence. It should be frankly stated, however that there a considerable body of evidence which, rightly understood, points in an opposite direction,

  • (1) There is the passage already referred to (2 Ch. 8;2), where Hiram is represented as the ceder of the twenty cities.
  • (2) In close proximity to this, it is said (2 Ch. 8:3) that Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and prevailed against it. Now Hamath-zobah here, as in 2 S. 8:3, we take to be partly a corrupted, partly a manipulated reading ; the true text gave Maacath-zarephath - i.e., the Zarephathite Maacath. And the strong cities which Solomon built (1 K. 9:15 [end], 9:17-19) were probably called Hazor, Jerahmeel, Geshur, Beth-horon (in the S. ), Baalath, 'Tamar in Arabia'. 1
  • (3) There are also the passages (4:26 [5:6], 10:26) referred to above, which, when critically emended, appear to assert the reduction to bondage or serfdom of a large portion of the Jerahmeelite population.
  • And (4) there is a singular statement (10:14-15) respecting the amount of gold which came every year

to Solomon, the close of which should run nearly thus - 'apart from the tribute (v:y) of the Zarephathites and the Jerahmeelites (cp SPICE-MERCHANTS) and all the kings of Arabia'. 2

These passages, however, seem to prove nothing but the strong determination of later writers to idealise the reign of Solomon. That Solomon was, for a time at any rate, lord of the Negeb (with the exception of 'Hiram's twenty cities) may be admitted. That he had battles in the Negeb is also true, and his foe was no minor chieftain but the king of Missur himself, and Solomon was worsted in the conflict. The reference to HADAD 3 and to REZON 4 in 1 K. 11:14-25 and to Jeroboam's journey to Misrim in v. 40,* confirm the view that Solomon's position in the Negeb was seriously and frequently threatened. It is noteworthy that Rezon is said to have 'reigned in Damascus' (rather Cusham), just as Hadad 'reigned over Aram' (i.e., Jerahmeel). Evidently there was a strong jealousy between Israel and the neighbouring peoples of Jerahmeel and Missur. (Cp Stade, GVI 1:303, who, however, adheres to MT. )

8. References to horses.[edit]

The references to Solomon's horses, as we have seen, need to be carefully inspected ; they have been much misunderstood.

There is evidence enough that C CIO (horses), and D Cto (Cushites), 3DT (chariot), and j l, N=n -,.(Jerahmeel) have an unfortunate tendency to get confounded, and this confusion has affected the story of Solomon.

Still, we need not doubt that Solomon had, not indeed 'chariot-cities' 6 (see MARCABOTH), but at least horses and chariots. On the locus classicus, 1 K. 10:28-29, see HORSE, 1 (5), MIZRAIM, 2a, TRADE, 49. It is a question, however, whether criticism does not make it a plausible view that the Misrim from which Solomon derived horses and chariots was the N. Arabian rather than the N. Syrian referred to in these articles. This at least can with much probability be stated, that, whilst there were nomadic tribes in N. Arabia whose riding animal was specially the camel (see CAMEL, 2), there was also a settled population skilled in the useful arts and riding on horses (see Crit. Bib. ). Our information on these points is scanty, but a negative attitude towards the inference here stated is possible only at the cost of rejecting critical facts which all hang together, and throw a light on many dark places in the history of Israel.

1 Implying emendations of the text ; see Crit. Bib. See also TAMAR, TADMOK, TRADE, 50. The reader will find the old view and the new in collision, but this is inevitable. The problems before us are partly of a text-critical, partly of a historical character.

2 Cp TRADE, 50, where the corrected printing 31J? (cp Ch.) is admitted. We must add, however, that very probably j lNn mns has arisen out of C712~l!>,t, written at the end as a correction of n inn , D Sim, as in Neh. 3:32, = G^NDrtT > and of this same word nnCC is also a corruption (c = c).

3 Hadad was probably an Arammite ( 8iv) - i.e., a Jerahmeelite - rather than an Edomite : see Crit. Bib. on 2 S. 8:13-14 Winckler (KAT (3) 240) independently suggests that Hadad was of Aram-Zoba, not of Edom. Aram-Zoba, however, is really Aram-Zarephath, according to the present writer's view of the original text. See ZOBA. We must not, however, confound the spheres of action of the two adventurers, Hadad and Rezon.

4 Rezon was a fugitive from his lord the king of Zarephath (=Maacath-Zarephath, above).

5 See JQR, July 1899, pp. 552-556. As against Winckler (KAT (3) 241, the present writer thinks that 'Shishak' in v. 40 is merely an error for %[J}3 (see PHARAOH, SHISHAK, 2).

6 Cp, however, CHARIOT, 5, CITY (/), and Wi. GI 2:210.

9. Political importance.[edit]

The total result of our study of Solomon is that his political importance has been very much exaggerated. Already in 1 K. 4:24 [5:4] we find the extent of his kingdom idealised as that of David had been. It is not difficult to account for this. The geographical statement in 4:24 [5:4] arises simply from a misinterpretation of -in: (nahar) in v. 21 [5:1], which really means the 'nahal Misrim', but was supposed to mean the Euphrates. 1 Later ages went farther in the same course, and in Pss. 45 and 72 (the latter of which, however, has received a later insertion) his life furnishes the framework for pictures of the Messianic king. Against this idealisation the redactor of ECCLESIASTES (q.v.) in his own way protests.

10. Not a polytheist.[edit]

We now turn to Solomon's religious position. Was he a polytheist? Did he ever, as W. E. Barnes (Hastings, DB 2:511b) expresses it, 'patronise foreign worship?' An affirmative answer is suggested by 1 K. 11:1-8. It is plain however, from LXX's text, as well as from the phenomena of MT, that the original has been much expanded by later hands from a religious motive. 2 There was no bad faith in this; the later writers simply recast history in the light of certain fundamental principles - those of Deuteronomy (cp KINGS [BOOK], 6). And their procedure appears more startling than it really was, owing to the fact that the ethnic names and the names of the gods have been accidentally corrupted. The original statement probably was that which underlies 11:7, 'Then did Solomon build a sanctuary for the god of Cusham and Jerahmeel' - i.e., for his Misrite wife ; this probably stood in connection with the account of Solomon s marriage (cp 16:31-33).

Various comments on this were inserted in the margin, and introduced by the redactor or redactors into the text. Lastly, corruption transformed 'the god of Cusham' into 'Chemosh the god (abomination) of Moab', and 'Jerahmeel' into 'Milcom the god (abomination) of the b'ne Ammon'. In what is now v. 1, 'Jerahmeelite, Misrite, Rehobothite' became Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite (from "Arammite," a variant to "Jerahmeelite"), Zidonian, and Hittite', and in what is now v. 3, 'princesses Ishmaelites' became 'princesses seven hundred', and 'concubines Ishmaelites' became 'concubines three hundred'.

That Solomon had a number of wives, both Israelite and non-Israelite, is probable enough, but he did not make altars for all of them, nor did he himself combine the worship of his wives' gods with that of Yahwe. He can have had no thought of denying the sole divinity of Yahwe in the land which was Yahwe's inheritance. It is a distortion of the true text when LXX{L} represents Solomon as 'burning incense and sacrificing' (edv/^ia KO.I Zt)ue [ethymia kai ethye]) to foreign gods. 3 That this ambitious king had such a chastened piety as we find in 1 K. 8:14-61 (cp Driver, Intr. (8) 200-201) is on all grounds inconceivable; but we have no reason to doubt that according to his lights he was a faithful worshipper of Yahwe, so far as this was consistent with his despotic inclinations.

11. Later idealisation.[edit]


In the apocryphal Book of Wisdom, again, the composition of an Egyptian Hellenist, who from internal evidence is judged to have lived somewhat earlier than Philo (see WISDOM OF SOLOMON), Solomon is introduced uttering words of admonition, imbued with the spirit of Greek philosophers, to heathen sovereigns. The so-called Psalter of Solomon, on the other hand, a collection of Pharisee Psalms preserved to us only in a Greek version, has nothing to do with Solomon or the traditional conception of his person, and seems to owe its name to a transcriber who thus distinguished these newer pieces from the older 'Psalms of David'. 4 In NT times Solomon was the current type alike of magnificence and of wisdom (Mt. 6:29, Lk. 11:31). But Jewish legend was not content with this, and, starting from a false interpretation of Eccles. 2:8, gave him sovereignty over demons, to which were added (by a perversion of 1 K. 4;33), lordship over all beasts and birds, and the power of understanding their speech. These fables passed to the Arabs before the time of Mohammed (Nabigha, 1 22), tound a place in the Koran, and gave Solomon (Suleiman) a lasting fame throughout the Moslem Kast. The story of Solomon, the hoopoe, and the queen of Sheba in the Koran (Sur. 27) closely follows the second Targum to Esth. 1:2, where the Jewish fables about him may be read at large. Solomon was supposed to owe his sovereignty over demons to the possession of a seal on which the must great name of God was engraved. See Lane, Arabian Nights, Introd., n. 21, and chap. 1, n. 15.



For a survey of Solomon s reign in connection with the longer history, see ISRAEL, 23-25 ; on Solomon s psalm (?), CREATION, 26, and on two supposed daughters of Solomon, see SALMAH.

T. K. C.

1 Cp EGYPT, BROOK OF, and see Wi. GI 2:254.

2 See Benzinger and Kittel, and cp Driver, Intr. (6) 192.

3 See, however, Burney (Hastings DB 2:865a, note), who favours LXX{L}, and thinks that the fact has been toned down by some later hand into the statement of MT.

4 On the Aprocryphal Psalms of Solomon see APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, 77-85. Cp also APOCRYPHA, 14.


(H CTOA [TOY] coAo-MCON[T]OC), Jn. 10:23, Acts 5:12. See TEMPLE, 30-31


(\J3 l?), a guild of persons attached to the second temple, mentioned in Ezra 2:55, 2:58, Neh. 7:5, 7:60, 11:3-4 (Yioi AoyAwN C&ACOMCON l 5AL]; Ezra 2:55 Y-<\3AHceA [B] ; 2:58 Y. &ceAHceAM<\ [B], Y- &BAH- C\M& [A]), with the NETHINIM (q.v. ), and sometimes (e.g., Neh. 3:26, 3:31, 10:29) apparently included under that term. Bertheau-Ryssel leaves it uncertain whether this guild of 'servants of Solomon' grew out of a small part of the Canaanitish bondservants of Solomon (1 K. 9:20-21) which may have been assigned to the temple. The probability is, however, that the phrase has nothing to do with Solomon, but is corrupt. On Solomon's corvee, see SOLOMON, 6.

Just as one can hardly doubt that the so-called ncthin iut are really the Ethanites, so the b'ne 'abde Shelomoh must, it would seem, be either the bene 'obed-shalamu or the bene 'obed-'edom. 'Obed-'edom is probably a corruption of arab-edom - i.e., Arabia of Edom, and Obed-shelomoh of arab-shalomu - i.e. , Arabia of the Salmaeans (see SALMAH, 2). The Jerahmeelites and Edomites seem to have been strongly mixed with pure Israelites after the exile. One of the families of the Obed-edom or Arab-edom guild (if we may call it so) bears the name 'bene Hassophereth' (or Sophereth) - i.e., bene Sarephathlm, or Zarephathites. See SOPHERETH.

T. K. C.






cOMeeic[BA]), 1 Esd. 9:34 RV = Ezra 10:38 SHIMEI, 16.

SON OF GOD[edit]


    • Synonym of god (1).
    • Term for an angel (2).
    • Offspring of a god (3).
    • Figurative use (4).
    • The king (5).
    • The Messiah (6).
    • One raised from the dead (7).
    • The Logos (8).
    • i. In Synoptics (9-22).
      • Principles of criticism (10).
      • Genuine sayings of Jesus (11).
      • Jesus's self-consciousness (12).
      • Hymn to Father and Son(13).
      • Son's limited knowledge (14).
      • Baptismal formula (15).
      • Allegory of husbandmen (16).
      • Proclamation by voices etc. (17-18).
      • Proclamation by demons (18).
      • Peter's confession (19).
      • High priest's adjuration (20).
      • Centurion's exclamation (21).
      • Origin of title (22).
      • ii. In Fourth Gospel (23).
      • iii. In Epistles (24).
    • Historical significance of title (25).
  • Literature (26).

In the Semitic languages the individual is often designated as a 'son' of the species to which he belongs, the species being indicated by a collective or plural noun (see SON OF MAN, 1, 4-6).


1. Synonym of 'god'.[edit]

Similarly, a member of the genus 'god' seems to have been designated as ben elohim (Aram., bar elahin}. This is suggested by Gen. 6:2-4, Ps. 82:6, Dan 3:25. As early as the second century B.C. the b'ne elohim in Gen. 6:2-4 were understood in some circles to be angels, and this interpretation is certainly nearer the truth than the rationalising exegesis that made the fathers of the giants 'sons of mighty men' or pious folk (see 2). But the term can scarcely have conveyed originally the idea of 'angels'. At the time when the myth was first told in Judah, it is not likely that the doctrine of angels had yet developed. As the 'daughters of men' were simply 'women', so 'the sons of the gods' were 'gods'. Such a usage of the phrase must have been deeply rooted, since even in the Hasmonaean age 'sons of Elyon' was an expression employed as a synonym of gods. In Ps. 82:6 b'ni elyon is used in the second hemistich as an equivalent of elohim in the first. In Dan. 3:25 the celestial being seen in the fiery furnace is called bar elohin (cp Pesh. ). This is indeed explained by mal'akeh, 'his angel', in 3:28, and so the phrase was undoubtedly understood by the author. But it is not probable that the Jews of the Maccabaean period called an angel bar elahin ; as good monotheists they no doubt said bar elaha. The author, however, en deavoured to make the speeches of pagan kings and queens more plausible by putting upon their lips such phrases as, in his judgment, they would naturally use. He lets them speak of the 'wisdom of gods' (5:11) and the 'spirit of holy gods' (4:5-6, [4:8-9], 5:11). As these expressions were borrowed from pagan phraseology, bar elahin was probably drawn from this same source. If the polytheistic neighbours of Israel employed the phrase, they are likely to have meant by it not 'an angel', but a 'god'. Even in Job 1:6, 38:7, the 'sons of the gods' are apparently conceived of as divine beings, subordinate to the Most High, but still associated with the elements, stars, or nations, over which they once reigned as independent rulers ; and the same may be true of Ps. 29 (b'ne elon).

2. Designation of an 'angel'.[edit]

Whilst originally these divine beings were not angels, it is natural that in course of time they should become identified with the special class of 'messengers', (mal'akim). In Gen. 62:4, some MSS of LXX (A 37, 72, 75) read oi ayye\oi TOV 0eov, [oi aggeloi tou theou] and this reading seems to have been found by many patristic writers (cp also mala;ke in the margin of Syr. -Hex. , and the Persian Vs. ), though the majority of MSS and daughter-versions have the more literal oi viol roi~ Ofdv [oi uioi tou theou]. Such a reference to angels is assumed in many passages.

So in Enoch 6:2 (oi ayyeAoi viol ovpavov oi aggeloi tou ouranon], Giz. frg. and Eth.) 19:2 etc., Slavonic En. 7:18, Jubilees 5, Test. 12 Patr. : Reuben 5, Philo, 1:262, ed. Mangey, Jos. Ant. 1:3:1, 73, Jude 6, 2 Pet. 2:4, Justin, Apol. 1:5, Clem. Hom. 8:13, Clem. Alex. Strom. 3:528, Tert. De Virg. Vel. 7, Lactantius, Instit. 2:15, Commodianus, Instruct. 1:3.

In Ps. 29:1, 82:6, Targ. has H SN^D TO I in Job 1:6, LXX reads oi &yyf\oi TOV t)fov [aggeloi tou theou], and in 38:7 0776X0: fj.ov [aggeloi mou], and Targ. in both places malakayya, and in Dan. 8:25 [9:2] LXX renders 077^X01 OeoO [aggeloi theou]. The translation 'sons of the angels' (Job 38:7, Pesh. b'nai mala'ke, En. 71:1) or 'children of the gods' (En. 69:45, 10:65) apparently presupposes the use of elohim (or Aram, elahin) as a designation of angels, the 'sons' being the individuals of this class. Whether Aquila's rendering, oi I ioi TtJiiv 6fui> [oi uioi toon theoon], reflects such an identification of elohim-Ofoi [theoi] with angels, or a more correct apprehension of the original meaning, or simply the conviction that the Most High can have no sons (cp Midr. Tehillin, 2:7), cannot easily be determined. The fact that Gen. 6:2-4 are the only passages where the Targs. (Onk. and Jon. ) render b'ne elohim with b'ne rabrebayya indicates that the common significance is here forced to yield, for dogmatic reasons, to a less natural meaning. The same is true of Sym. oi viol TUIV SvvacrTevovTuv [oi uioi toon dynasteuontoon], Sam. Targ. rna s t: 3D, and Saadia banu'l ashrafi, 'sons of the mighty', 'the rulers' or 'nobles'. It is also significant that the term kedoshim, which designates the gods as objects of worship, was transferred to the angels (cp Job 5:1, 15:15, Zech. 14:5, Dan. 4:14, Ps. 89:68, Tob. 8:15); in Ecclus. 452, the original seems to have read D nVxD irma i (LXX translating c nV with ayioi [agioi]), and a similar transfer is likely to have taken place in the case of the term watcher. If is correct, in Dt. 328 (apparently a late gloss), the SN 32 [BNY 'L] seem to have been limited in some circles to the celestial representatives, or patron angels, of the different nations.

3. Offspring of a god.[edit]

At the basis of the myth in Gen. 6:1+ lies the idea of the physical descent of some men from divine beings [cp NEPHILIM, 1]. The famous giants of old were regarded as sons of gods and of beautiful women. This explanation was especially resorted to in the case of great heroes of antiquity and of kings (see section 5). But clans and tribes also traced their descent from divinity through their eponym heroes. When the Moabites are said to be the sons and daughters of Chemosh (Nu. 21:29), the Hebrew singer used a phrase that is likely to have been employed by the Moabites themselves to claim descent from Chemosh, to indicate that they were his offspring in the world. Gen. 19:30-38 cannot be urged against this view. It probably referred originally to the descent of a pre-Edomitish clan from its divinity Lotan (see Lor). Edom, Esau, Ammon, Gad, Asher, and other gentilicia, are, beyond a question, names of gods [cp TRIBES, 3]. Abram (the 'exalted father' of Hebron), Isaac (the 'smiling' El of Beersheba), Jacob (the 'pursuing' El of Shechem), Israel (the 'fighting' El of Mahanaim), 1 Ishmael (the 'listening' El of Beer-lahai-roi), Jerahmeel (the 'pitying' El of Rahama) and many more, can scarcely have been other than divine figures originally. The sons of these were, no doubt, once regarded as physical descendants of gods, though the term was later understood to designate them merely as the offspring of eponym heroes, or as belonging to the tribes bearing these names. However foreign to the ideas of a later time, the conception that the Israelites descended from Yahwe himself is likely to have existed in earlier days. When, in extant literature, Israel is called 'son of Yahwe', and the members of the people 'sons and daughters of Yahwe', this is indeed probably, in every instance, used in a metaphorical sense (see 4). Nevertheless, there are indications that the sonship once was taken more literally. Already, the connection between Yahwe's fatherhood and his creation of Israel is significant. In the Assyrian, banu means 'build', 'fashion', 'beget'; the same term denotes creation and procreation : Dt. 32:8 ('the rock that begat thee . . . the El that brought thee forth') shows how closely the ideas were related in the Hebrew mind. The tendency to make the eponym heroes sons of gods and women, seen in Greece (cp Rohde, Psyche, (2) 152+, 169+) and elsewhere, was evidently at one time operative in Israel as well. The original paternity of Isaac is but thinly disguised in Gen. 18:10+, 21:1+ (cp that of Samson in Judg. 13 where mal'ak is probably a later addition). It is quite evident that at sanctuaries provided with masseboth and asherim, kedeshim and kedeshoth, the simple folk-religion cannot have left Yahwe without a consort and children. In Ezek. 23 Yahwe marries two sisters and begets children by them. This is an allegory. But when even a late prophet does not hesitate to introduce this conception as a figure of speech, it may be reasonably supposed that an earlier time found it only natural that Yahwe, as well as other gods, should have children by graciously visiting women of his choice. Gen. 6:1+ shows that gods might do this without offending the morals of the age. The notion of a physical divine paternity is not incompatible with an otherwise highly developed moral sense (see 17).

1 As the 'Job stone' found by Schumacher at Sheikh Sa'd in Hauran proves that Ramses II. penetrated into the E. Jordan country, it is possible that the Israel referred to in the Me(r)neptah inscription was a tribe having for its centre Mahanaim.

4. Figurative use.[edit]

The very fact that in Hebrew literature Israel is primarily the son of Yahwe and the individual Israelite only by virtue of his connection with the people, indicates that the phrase was once understood in a literal sense, since collective sonship is mediated through the eponym hero. Nevertheless, the idea of physical descent has been so strongly suppressed that the term is practically everywhere used figuratively, to express the love and paternal care of Yahwe and the reverence and obedience of Israel.

Already in Hosea 2:1 the ethical significance often associated with this metaphor comes to view when the prospect of becoming 'sons of the living God' (b'ne El hai) by a moral reformation is held out to the Israelites. In Hosea 11:1 the text is doubtful. Mt. reads 'out of Egypt I have called my son'. LXX seems to have found a plural (!J37i TO. -rinva. avrov [ta tekna autou]). See LOVINGKINDNESS. His children would refer to the 'sons of Israel'. In Is. 1:2, 30:1, the Israelites are called 'sons of Yahwe'. That the phrase was felt to be a figure of speech is evident from Dt. 1:31, 8:5 (;as a man bears [chastens] his son, so Yahwe'; cp Ps. 103:13) ; but 14:1 asserts 'Ye are the sons of Yahwe, your God', and 32:6 asks 'Is he not thy father, thy maker?' In Jer. 3:4 Yahwe is said to be a father; 3:19, 'How shall I place thee among sons', means 'make thee a son' (see Duhm, Jeremia, p. 6), consequently contains the idea of adoption. The promise, 'I shall be a father to Israel, and Ephraim shall be my first born' is given in Jer. 31:9. Similarly Ex. 4:22, 'My son, my first-born, is Israel'. In Is. 63:16, the first-born of Yahwe is emphasised, in contrast with the neglect of the people by Abraham and Israel ; the cult of these heroes brings no relief. Cp also 'our father', Is. 64:8 [64:7]. Mal. 16 assumes that Yahwe is constantly represented by the people as a father. Mal. 2:10-16 has suffered much corruption by intentional alteration and by accident [see Crit. Bib.]. But v. 10 clearly shows that Yahwe is the father of the Israelites and their ancestor. In v. 11 neither LXX nor Pesh. seems to have found in the text 'and marries the daughter of a strange god' (^33 7x), but some phrase which could be interpreted 'and walks after (or 'serves') foreign gods'. This may be a free rendering of ^N jv^ Vtf Nil "IDJi 'and enters the house of a strange god', but MT shows that the idea of a woman being the daughter of her god was not foreign to Hebrew thought (cp Nu. 21:29, Wisd. 9:7, 12:21, 16:10). In Ps. 73:15, 'the generation of thy children' refers to the Jews. The fatherhood of God is finely expressed in the prayer, Ecclus. 23:1, beginning Kupie, Trarep [kyrie, pater], 'Lord, father'. In Ecclus. 4:11 the Hebrew reads 13 "]xip 7N1i 'and God shall call thee son'. Here sonship has an ethical quality. That is also the case in Wisd. 2:18, 'if the righteous man is God's son, he will uphold him'; whilst in 5:5 the sons of God probably are the occupants of the celestial world, including angels and human saints (see section 7); in 9:7, 12:21, 16:10, 18:4, the sons and daughters of God are the Israelites, and in 18:13 the people is said to be recognised by the Egyptians as 'God's son'. In Judith 9:4 the Jews are God's 'dear children'. In Esth. 6:14, they are the 'sons of the only and true God', and in 3 Macc. 6:28 they are the sons of the 'most mighty and heavenly living God'. Eth. Enoch 62:11 speaks of 'his children and his elect', but the passage is probably a Christian interpolation. Cp also Sib. Or. 3:702, 'sons of the great God'; Ps. Sol. 7:30, 'sons of their God'; 18:4, 'as a first-born only-begotten son'; Ass. Mos. 10:27, 'sons of God'; Jubilees 1:15, 'sons of God'; and 4 Ezra 6:58, 'thy people, first born and only-begotten'.

It may be inferred from such instances that the designation of God as father in a figurative sense goes back at least to the eighth century and was common in Israel in the last century B.C. ; that the Israelites felt themselves to be sons and daughters of Yahwe because of their connection with the holy Yahwe-worshipping people ; and that here and there the thought of a spiritual sonship based on character was reached.

Founders of states and kings in general were regarded in antiquity as sons of gods.

5. The king.[edit]

Numerous examples were gathered from Greek and Roman writers by D. F. Ilgen in 1795. He, however, wrongly supposed that the basis of what he deemed simply a figure of speech was the relation of the king as pupil to the divinity as teacher. In reality, the divine paternity was looked upon as an important fact. In the case of a long-reigning dynasty, or one connected by marriage with the preceding one, it was sufficient to assume a transmission of the divine life from an original impregnation by a god ; in the case of a usurper not connected by marriage with the previously reigning family, resort must be had to an immediate divine fatherhood. Thus, the kings of Egypt were considered as 'the sons of Re' by virtue of descent from him; but Alexander could be declared a son of Ammon Re only by a denial of Philip s paternity, and a revelation of his birth without a human father (Trogus in Justin, Hist. 11:11). Less prominence was evidently given to this conception in Assyria ; but its existence is proved by 5 R. 297 where Ashur-bani-pal says Ashur ila banua, 'Ashur the god, my begetter'. The Ptolemies as successors of the Egyptian kings accepted such titles as 'son of Re', yib TOV HAt ov [uios tou heliou], 'son of Isis and Osiris'; and some of the Seleucidae, as successors of Alexander, also received the title 0oO utos [theos uios]. The latter title was frequently used by the Roman emperors as well as divus, #ed? [theos], and elaha in the East (see Dalman, 227, and Deissmann, Bibelstudien, 1:166+).

Even in Israel the king was regarded as standing on a higher level than ordinary men and given the name 'son of Yahwe'. His quasi-divine character is already indicated in the fact that he was anointed. Originally the pouring out of oil on his head was a sacrifice, an act of worship. Yahwe s anointed was recognised as partaking of Yahwe s sanctity, as possessed of a divine spirit and a higher intelligence (1 S. 10:9). It is more likely to be a reflection of a generally prevailing opinion than mere flattery, when the woman in 2 S. 14:17, 14:20 declares that David is like the gods in hearing what is good and evil, and has the wisdom of the gods to know all that is in the earth (mal'ak is probably a late interpolation). How the people before the exile looked upon their kings, cannot be determined from the literary remains reflecting the often strongly anti-royalist spirit of the prophets. Is. 9:6 shows that a poet in the exile did not hesitate to predict for a child born to the royal family (possibly a son of Jehoiachin) that he would be called a 'mighty god' (el gibbor}. 2 S. 7:14, probably written after the exile, as H. P. Smith has perceived, and possibly in the days of Zerubbabel, presents the son of David as the son of Yahwe, and significantly predicts for him that in spite of this he will be punished as human beings are, though not destroyed. When kings again sat on the throne of David in the Hasmonrean age, they naturally applied to themselves this promise. Yahwe s anointed king was his son, born as such on the day of his coronation, whom the nations and their rulers should obey (Ps. 2). Accustomed as men in Israel had been to hear their Ptolemaic or Seleucid rulers referred to both as 'god' and as 'son of god', the two terms easily merged into each other when applied, as they were, to the Hasmonaean kings. In Ps. 58:2 and 82:6 Pharisaic hymn-writers scornfully designate these native rulers as 'gods' (elohim) and 'sons of God' (b'ne elyon). There would be no sting in this sarcasm, if they were not actually designated as such. That this was the case is shown by Ps. 45:7-8 [45:6-7]. where a poet laureate of one of these princes on the occasion of a royal wedding apostrophises the monarch as divine. In Ps. 89:26-27, 2 S. 7:14 is applied to Alexander Jannaeus (so Duhm). Zech. 128 probably also applies to the reigning family.

On the other hand, Ex. 21:6, 22:9 [22:8] do not prove that rulers were called 'gods'. They refer to household gods (Eerdmans), and Targ. and Pesh. which render 'judges' are certainly wrong. So far as known, the king was never regarded in Israel as literally the son of Yahwe. The underlying thought seems to have been that the king became a 'son' by the infusion of his divine father's life and intelligence.

6. The Messiah.[edit]

In view of the fact that the king in Israel was called a son of God, it is somewhat strange that there is so little evidence of its use as a title of the coming Messiah. There is no passage in Jewish literature that can be confidently dated as earlier than Christianity, in which this name is given to the Messiah.

Enoch 105:2 is probably an interpolation (so Drummond, Charles, Dalman). 4 Ezra 7:28-29, 13:32, 13:37, 13:52, 14;9 are all doubtful. The Aramaic original is lost, and the extant versions (Syr., Lat., Eth., Ar., Arm.) have all passed through Christian hands, and manifestly suffered changes in these very passages (see Drummond, 285+). The Targ. to 2 S. 7:14 renders 'like a father' and 'like a son', and the Targ. to Ps. 2:7 'thou art dear to me as a son' ; Ps. 2 is generally referred to Israel. In Origen's time the Jews looked forward to the coming of God's Messiah, but professed to find no reference in prophecy to a coming son of God (c. Celsum, 149). Only rarely (as in b. Sukka, 152a and Midrash Tehill. 2:7) is a Messianic interpretation of Ps. 2 found. There can be little doubt that the reason for this lies in the reaction, first against Hasmonaean pretensions, and subsequently against Christian exegesis. But between the insistence upon Davidic descent as a rebuke to the illegitimate line in the Psalter of Solomon, and the emphasis upon the human character of the Messiah (ar0po>7ro<r ef avOptairiay [anthroopos ex anthroopon]) by Trypho as a disavowal of the new god, the great Messianic movements stirred many circles in Jewry, besides the followers of Jesus, with eagerness to discover a reference to the Messiah in every passage that lent itself to the purpose. It therefore remains possible that the identification of the Messiah as the son of God represents not merely the blending of two independent convictions, but the synonymy of two terms. Dalman objects to bar elaha as a Messianic title, on the ground that it was not customary to mention the name of God, as Mk. 14:61 uibs TOU euAoyijroO [uios tou eulogetou] indicates. But Mt., who, according to Dalman, alone rendered the original idiomatic malkutha ila-shemayya for 'kingdom of God' with /3a<riAeia -rutr ovpaviav [basileia toon ouranoon], has in 26:63 fibs ToO Btov [uios tou theou], and so also Lk. 22:70 ; and there is no indication that sons of God was rendered otherwise than by b'ne elaha. Nevertheless, bar elaha is not likely to have been very commonly used as a designation of the Messiah, and there is no absolute proof of its use at any time.

7. One raised from the dead.[edit]

In Lk. 20:36 those that are accounted worthy of another world and of being raised from the dead are said to be equal to angels and 'sons of God', because they are sons of the resurrection. According to Rom. 1:4 Jesus was shown to be a son of God by his resurrection from the dead. The idea that the ranks of the heavenly beings may thus be increased, is older than the thought of a resurrection.

Heroes that are well-pleasing to the gods maybe carried aloft to be with them for ever, as Uta-napisti in the Gilgamish epic, or Enoch and Elijah [see DELUGE, 17, ELIJAH, ENOCH, and cp ETHAN, PARAIJISK, 3]. Slavonic Enoch 22 gives a fine description of Enoch s reception in heaven, and his celestial garments. Into the same company of heavenly beings men could be brought from the subterranean realms of Sheol, when the Mazdayasnian doctrine of a resurrection hail become familiar in Israel. Even in circles where the Greek conception of immortality prevailed, the godly man was supposed to take up his abode after death among the sons of God, and to obtain his inheritance among the saints (Wisd. 5:5). It is the merit of Barton (New World, 1899, pp. 114+) to have called attention to this thought.

8. The Logos.[edit]

Among the Jews accessible to Greek philosophy, it was especially Philo who prepared the way for the Christian doctrine of the son of God by his Logos-speculation. When he called this Logos 'the perfect son', 'the firstborn son of God' (De Vit. Mos. 14 ; De Conf. Ling. 14 ; De Agric. 12), he did not imply that it was an individual, an hypostasis, a person. Yet it was inevitable that the term 'son of God' should suggest a mediator between God and the world, a celestial personality more grandly conceived than any other associated with the name, and herein lies much of its historic importance (see sections 23, 25 ; and for a description of Philo's Logos the careful studies of Jean ReVille, Soulier, Siegfried, Anathon Aall, and Grill).


9. The Synoptics.[edit]

The term 'son of God' (i>i6s Oeov [uios theou], vibs TOU ffeov [uoios tou theou], o i i6s TOV dfov [o uios tou theou]) or 'my (God's) son' (i>i6s ,uoi> [uios mou]) occurs in thee Synoptic gospels 27 times, and the term 'the son' (o uios) 9 times. It will be convenient to record the occurrences in detail and to classify them.

1. 'Son of God' or 'my (God's) son' : 27 times.

  • a. Enumeration.
    • Mk. 1:1, 1:11, 3:11, 5:7, 9:7, 14:61, 15:39 = 7 times
    • Mt. 3:17, 4:3, 4:6, 5:9, 14:33, 16:16, 17;5, 26:63, 27:40, 27:43, 27:54 = 11 times.
    • Lk. 1:32, 3:5, 3:8, 3:22, 3:38, 4:3, 4:9, 8:28, 9:35, 22:70 = 9 times
  • b. Analysis.
    • i. In three Gospels : 3 times.
      • Mk. 1:11 = Mt. 3:17 = Lk. 3:22 : baptism.
      • Mk. 9:7 = Mt. 17:5 = Lk. 9:35: transfiguration.
      • Mk. 14:61 = Mt. 26:63 = Lk. 22:70 : trial.
    • ii. In two Gospels : 4 times.
      • Mk. 15:39 = Mt. 27:54 (centurion) = once.
      • Mk. 5:7 = Lk. 8:28 (demon) = once.
      • Mt. 4:3 = Lk. 4:3 (temptation)
      • Mt. 4:6 = Lk. 4:9 (temptation) = twice
    • iii. In one Gospel : 10 times.
      • Mk. 1:1 (superscription), 3:11 (demon) = twice.
      • Mt. 5:9 (name of peacemakers), 14:33 (after walk on the sea), 16:16 (Peter's confession), 27:40 (at the cross), 27:43 (alleged quotation) = 5 times.
      • Lk. 1:32, 1:35 (annunciation), 3:38 (genealogy) = 3 times.

2. 'The son' (o mo [o uios]) alone : 9 times.

  • a. Enumeration.
    • Mt. 11:27 (thrice), 24:36, 28:19 = 5 times.
    • Mk. 13:32 = once.
    • Lk. 10:22 (thrice) = 3 times.
  • b. Analysis.
    • The three in Mt. 11:27 correspond to the three in Lk. 10:22 (hymn of Jesus) = 6
    • Mk. 13:32 is equivalent to Mt. 24:36 (not even the son) = 2
    • Mt. 28:19 (baptismal formula) has no parallel = i
10. Principles of criticism.[edit]

It is not sufficient, however, to consider the texts in which the title actually occurs. Passages throwing light upon Jesus' conception of the divine fatherhood in general and man's sonship must also be examined. Parables in which the term 'son' might be regarded as referring to Jesus, must be taken into consideration. Whenever a reputed saying of Jesus is drawn into the discussion, it must be tested in a retranslation into the Aramaic dialect spoken by Jesus ; and the same applies to utterances concerning him by persons to whom this Galilean speech was the vernacular. The differences between the accounts of the evangelists must be observed. It is not permissible to leave out of sight the peculiarities of the evangelists, or the influence upon their minds of later thought and a growing tradition. It is necessary to bear in mind the fundamental distinction between the Greek words ascribed to Jesus which we possess, and the Aramaic sentences he spoke which we can only surmise ; between the stories told for religious edification, and the history often symbolised rather than described in them. Moreover, the condition of the text must be sedulously watched.

11. Ethical significance in genuine sayings of Jesus.[edit]

In a number of passages whose substantial genuineness admits of little doubt Jesus is reported as having used the term 'sons of God', or an equivalent, of men in such a manner as to imply a certain moral likeness to God.

Whilst in Mt. 5:9 the thought may conceivably be that the peace-makers will be called 'sons of God' because they will be deemed worthy of a share in the resurrection (Lk. 20:36 and cp section 7), more probably the idea is that when the kingdom of heaven shall be established on earth, as it soon will be, they will be recognised by virtue of their spiritual kinship to God as his true sons. This is manifestly the case in Mt. 5:45, where sonship is based on an impartial and forgiving spirit like God's. Whether Jesus said 'sons of your father who is in heaven' or 'sons of the Most High', as in the parallel passage in Lk. 6:35. is doubtful. Most probably he said 'sons of the father who is in heaven'. This is suggested by a comparison of Mt. 6:11 (6 Trarijp v^tav 6 tv TOI? ovpavotf [o pater umon o en tois ouranois]) with Lk. 11:13 (6 iraTrjp 6 tf oi iparoO [o pater o ex ouranos], where, however, Sin. Syr. seems to read 'the father that is in heaven'). Mt. apparently had a preference for the pronominal additions. But whether N^N or p312N was originally used, it is significant that Jesus did not limit the divine paternity and did not exclude from sonship those who were 'themselves evil'. The same is strongly indicated also in the parables of the lost son (Lk. 15:11+) and the two sons (Mt. 21:28+), which teach that man even when he errs does not cease to be the .son of God and the object of his fatherly affection. In Mt. 23:8-9 Jesus is speaking to the crowds as well as to his disciples, warning them not to call men Rabbi, Abba, and Moreh, 'for one is your master', 'one is your father', 'one is your teacher', the reference being everywhere to God (see Kohler, JQR 13:567+). On the other hand, in Mt. 10:20, 10:29, and Lk. 12:32 the disciples are addressed, and those to whom the kingdom will be given are clearly distinguished by their character from the rest of the people. Even more manifest is this distinction in Mt. 17:25+. As kings on earth demand tribute not of their sons but only of strangers, so the heavenly king does not impose taxes en his sons. Those who think of God as taxing them for the support of the temple-cult are in reality strangers to him ; the relations of sons to the heavenly father nre characterised by freedom. In view of such a profoundly ethical conception of sonship and Jesus' attitude in general, it is difficult to believe in the historical accuracy of his refusal to work a miracle for a Phoenician woman on the ground alleged (Mt. 15:21-28, Mk. 7:27-30).

12. Jesus' self-conciousness as a son of God.[edit]

The synoptic tradition records no utterance of Jesus in which he distinctly refers to himself as a son of God. In Mt. 27:43 it is indeed said that mocking high priests, scribes, and elders quoted him as having said: 'I am a son of God'. The only ground for such an assertion would be Jesus answer to the high priest's question (Mt. 26:67). But see section 20 and SON OF MAN, 37 (end). The taunt seems to have been made up of phrases from Wisdom 2:16-18 (see Brandt, 209). Of more importance would be the distinction between 'my father' and 'your father', if this could be traced back to Jesus himself.

The Gk. text of Mt. gives the impression that Jesus said 'my father' when speaking of his own God or to him, whilst he said 'your father' when referring to the God of his disciples or the people, and that he taught his disciples to say 'our father', but did not use this expression himself. Already a comparison with the synoptic parallels in which the possessive pronouns are lacking tends to raise doubts as to the integrity of the text. The prayer Jesus taught his disciples begins in Lk. 11:2 with 'Father' (n-arep [pater]) ; and textual criticism renders the originality of the pronoun in many instances quite uncertain. When, furthermore, the attempt is made to recover the actual Aramaic words used by Jesus, the fact comes to view that in practically all cases the original is likely to have been simply Abba (N;IN). Where the Gk. fit. had irare p IJ-ov [pater mou] or 6 iranjp pov [o pater mou], Evang. Hier. has simply Abba in the extant passages, Mt. 10:32-33, 16:16, 18:10, 19:35, 26:39; and the same is true of Lk. 2:49, 10:22 etc. If this version is made from the Greek without the aid of an Aramaic translation, only a strongly entrenched usage can account for the suppression of the possessive. If, as seems probable, an earlier Aramaic gospel was consulted in the trans lation, the testimony is doubly significant. It is confirmed by other remains of Palestinian Aramaic.

Jesus almost certainly said only Abba in his own prayers as well as in the prayer he taught, and Abba de bashemayya, 'the father who is in heaven', in referring to God. This conclusion is not merely of negative value. Positively, it indicates an exceedingly keen sense of the fatherhood of God creating a true filial attitude and a gentle feeling of brotherliness toward men. Into the innermost recesses of his spirit we cannot penetrate. Even if our sources were more fruitful and less heavily overlaid by tradition than they are, there would still remain the unfathomed depth of an experience colouring every characteristic thought and deed, the indefinable quality of a rich inner life, the mystery of a great and fruitful genius. But we are able to draw certain inferences from the fact that the highest moral and religious conceptions of sonship ascribed to him find expression in utterances in which he either speaks of men in general (Mt. 5:9, 5:45, 5:48), or includes himself with others (Mt. 17:25+, Mk. 3:35). Whilst he may have avoided such a statement as 'I am a son of God', because bar elaha might have suggested an angel, a translated being like Elijah, or a king, it is possible, therefore, that the real reason was his fear lest he be misunderstood as claiming for himself alone that relation to the Father into which his own experience made him so desirous that all men should enter.

13. Hymn to Father and Son.[edit]

How well founded such apprehensions would have been maybe seen from Mt. 11:25+ (Lk. 10:21-22), 24:36 (Mk. 13:32), 28:19 and also from Mt. 2l:33-46 (Mk 12:1-12, Lk 20:9-19), 22:2 (Lk. 14:16). In the first of these passages the gradual growth of a logion may be observed. The text presented by our MSS with minor variations between Mt. and Lk. already occurs sporadically in the second century (present tense Justin, c. Tryph. 100, 'knowledge of the Son first'; Iren. 4:6:1, Clem. Recog. 2:47}. Older than this, how ever, as modern critics generally recognise, is the text found in Justin, Apol. 163; Clem. Hom. 17:4, 18:4, 18:13, 18:20; Marcosians in Iren. 1:20:3; Marcion in Tert. c. Marc. 227 ; Iren. 2:6:1, 4:6:3 ; Clem. Alex. Strom. 7:18, 7:109 etc., which reads, with unimportant variations, KCU oi Scts Hyvw TOV Trarepa el [J.r) 6 vibs KCU (ovde) rbv vibv (TIS yiviaffKfi) ft (ATI 6 TTO.TTJP Kol ofs (/) &i> b vlbs diroKa\v\^rj (jSoi Xijrcu diroKa\i i\^ai). The principal differences are that eyvw [enoo] occurs in place of -yti/w<r/c [ginooskei], that the sentence 'no one knew the Father except the Son' precedes 'nor any one the Son except the Father', and that as a consequence it is the son instead of the father that reveals the son. Schmiedel (Prot. Monatshefte, 1900, p. 1+) regards this as an original utterance of Jesus and understands the aorist to intimate that there was a time when Jesus discovered that God was a father, a thought that until then had not been present to his mind. According to this critic, the men who once believed in the fatherhood of God were all dead, and among Jesus contemporaries no man recognised God as a father. Having become a 'son' by the discovery, he naturally looked upon himself as 'the Son' as long as he remained alone with his conviction that God was a father. But already Ewald (JEW, 1855, p. 160) pointed out that the difference between eyvu [egnoo] and yivdxrKei [ginooskei]. would not appear in the Heb. yada', and Dalman (233) rightly insists that in the unvocalised Aramaic text the participle yada' and perfect yeda' could not be distinguished. This difficulty would indeed be obviated if a derivative of -i33 is supposed to have been used in the original (Evang. Hier. has -03 in Mt. ) ; but even so (aphel perf. ) this verb would scarcely have necessitated an aorist rather than a present tense. Klopper (ZWTh, 1896, pp. 501+) and Dalman strongly urge the improbability of the revelation of the son through the son. Yet only the son s knowledge of the father follows naturally the transmission of all knowledge to the son. The rather irrelevant statement that 'no one knows the son except the father', has the appearance of being a gloss drifting into different places. If it is removed, the connection is greatly improved : 'All things (that are hidden from the wise and disclosed to babes) have been transmitted (Evang. Hier. noDnx) to me by the Father, and no one knows the Father except the son and he to whom the son is willing to make a revelation'. It is difficult, however, to see how even such an utterance could have come from the lips of Jesus. The alleged return of seventy disciples from a journey during which they had been engaged in exorcising demons does not furnish a natural occasion for such a comment as this (see Bruno Bauer, Kritik der Ev.-gesch. [1891] 2:266+). That Jesus should have thought of himself as possessed of all knowledge and regarded all other men as ignorant of God is scarcely conceivable. Long usage had rendered the term 'father' as a designation of God quite familiar to the contemporaries of Jesus, and piety had invested the name with deep spiritual significance (see section 4). But the abbreviated title 'the son' would probably have been as unintelligible to the Jews of Jesus time as it was well understood by the Christians of the second century. Pfliederer (Urchristenthum, 445+, 509-510) recognises the influence of Pauline ideas, and Brandt (pp. 561, 576) considers Mt. 11:25-30 to be a hymn regularly constructed of material largely borrowed from Ecclus. 51. Neither of these views is perhaps capable of strict demonstration. But the underlying conviction that this cannot be a genuine saying of Jesus is as irresistible as the evidence of its gradual growth is conclusive.

14. Son's limited knowledge.[edit]

In Mt. 24:36 (Mk. 13:32) the clause 'neither the Son' (ovde o vibs [oude o uios]) is lacking in many MSS, and (among other ancient witnesses) in the Syr. -Sin. Most modern scholars reject it. Scholten (Het oudste Evang. 227) maintained that it was also lacking in the original Mk. Dalman (159) thinks that the original text was 'not even the angels', and that 'not even the son but the father only' is a later addition.

Schmiedel (l.c. 20) also regards the words in Mt. as spurious, but considers those in Mk. as genuine because they cannot have been engendered by reverence for Jesus, a motive that led the editor of Mt. to omit them in copying his source. It is not apparent why the supposed original copyist should have been more sensitive on this point than the later interpolator of Mt. In the first half of the second century it is not likely that any Christian was offended by the subordination of the Son or his limited knowledge (Scholten, l.c.). Only the rising estimate of Jesus can account for the place of the Son between the angels and the Father, for the emphasis upon the fact that even he did not know the day and the hour, and for the use of the abbreviated title. Mk. 13:32 seems to have been added to the Apocalypse of Jesus to explain either the absence of a sufficiently exact date or the delay in the fulfilment of prophecy.

15. Baptismal formula.[edit]

The third passage in which 'the Son' occurs is Mt. 28:19. That the trinitarian baptismal formula does not go back to Jesus himself is evident and recognised by all independent critics. Acts and the Epistles show that other formulas were used but not this one, that the apostles did not feel warranted to preach to the heathen without a special revelation, and that the early church never referred to this commandment. The fact that it is ascribed to Jesus after his death is also significant; Conybeare (ZNTW, 1901, pp. 275+; Hibb. Journ. 1, 1902, pp. 102+) has shown that there was, as late as in the time of Eusebius, an earlier text which read : llopfvOtvrts fj.a.6 r}Ttv(ja.T irdvra. TO. tOvi] fv rif 6v6/j.a.ri nov 'Go ye and make disciples of all nations in my name', and has rendered it probable that the expanded form originated about 140 A.D. in the Old Latin texts of Africa, that it thence crept into the Greek text at Rome, and finally established itself in the East during the Nicene epoch in time to figure in all surviving Greek codices.

16. Allegory of husbandmen.[edit]

How Jesus understood his peculiar relation as a son may, according to Dalman (230), be seen very clearly from Mt. 21:33-46 (Mk. 12:1-12. Lk. 20:9-19). He regarded himself as the beloved son or as Gen 22:2 LXX and Trg. suggests, 'the only begotten son', entitled to the empire of the world, but destined to be put to death. On the other hand, Julicher (Gleichnisreden Jesu, 1899, pp. 385+) after a most searching examination of these texts comes to the conclusion that the story of the wicked husbandmen is not a parable describing something that might have happened in real life, but an allegory, and that it is in no sense an utterance of Jesus, but the work of early Christian theology. The justice of this verdict is appreciated when the marked contrast to all genuine parables, the lack of verisimilitude, the assumptions contrary to fact, and the charges based upon future conduct are duly noticed. In regard to Mt. 22:2, where the king makes a marriage feast for his son, Dalman rightly calls attention to the absence of the son during the meal, and the fact that in the parallel (Lk. 14:16) there is no mention of the son.

17. Proclamation by heavenly voices.[edit]

According to Lk. 1:32, 1:35, the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that the child she was to bear would be called 'the Son of the Most High', or 'the Son of God', because the Holy Ghost would come upon her. Divine sonship is here made dependent upon physical generation. Jesus will be called Son of God because he is to have no human father. This mythical conception which was widely prevalent in antiquity (see sections 2, 5) seems to belong to a late stratum (cp Conybeare, ZNTW, 1902, pp. 192+) and is of Gentile-Christian origin (cp Hillmann, JPT, 1891, pp. 231+). Older than it, is the idea that the Son of God was born as such at the baptism. Between the reports of the heavenly proclamation on this occasion in the synoptics there are important differences. Whilst Mt. 3:17 reads 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased', Mk. 1:11 and Lk. 3:22 have 'Thou art my beloved son, in thee I am well pleased'. It is possible, however, that Dab c ff-* I and a large number of patristic quotations have preserved a more original reading in Lk. 3:22 viz., uios fj.ov ei av tyu> ffrifJ-epov yeytvvrjKa, ere, 'Thou art my son, to-day I have begotten thee'. The generation of the Son of God is in this case accomplished by the entrance of the Holy Ghost as a dove. This earlier myth seems to have been supplanted by that of the Virgin birth. The announcement of the heavenly voice at the transfiguration (Mt. 17:5, Mk. 9:7, Lk. 9:35) was then transferred to the baptism. (Cp Holtzmann, Die Synoptiker, (3) 85.)

18. Proclamation by demons.[edit]

The early church was convinced that not only heaven but also hell knew the secret of Jesus' divine sonship. Demons repeatedly proclaimed him the Son of God, Mk 3:11, 5:7 (Lk. 8:28; cp also Mk. 1:27); and Satan himself used his knowledge of this fact to lead him into temptation (Mt. 4:36 ; cp Lk. 4:39). To accept the opinion of the evangelists as to the supernatural knowledge and activity of demons is no longer possible.

It is assumed by many critics that the demoniacs actually spoke such words as are ascribed to them, and that they themselves, as well as their reporters, were only mistaken in their interpretation of mental and nervous disorders. Being thrown into great excitement by the extraordinary impression of Jesus personality, these sufferers gave voice to their own or the general feeling that Jesus was the Messiah. But on this theory it cannot be explained why men excited to madness by the political situation should have avoided the one unmistakable Messianic title, 'Son of David', and employed a term that cannot be proved to have been then used, nor why, of all men, only the demoniacs should proclaim him as the 'Son of God'. As it is especially Mk. who emphasizes this testimony of the demons, it is natural to see in it a phase of his general conception of Jesus' life and character. He had to reckon with a strongly entrenched tradition to the effect that Jesus had not proclaimed himself as the Messiah. From the premises of his Christian faith he could only conclude that Jesus had then concealed his Messiahship and the divine nature which he associated with it. Such a fact might be hidden from men, but not from demons. They must have known, in spite of his disguise, the divine Son by whom they were to be judged. It is particularly the merit of Wrede (Das Messiasgeeheimniss, 1901, pp. 73+) to have called attention to this aspect of the case. The story of the temptation should be considered from the same point of view. [Cp TEMPTATION, 4-6.]

As no objective reality can be ascribed to these voices from the world of evil spirits, it is idle to inquire whether in their reported utterances 'Son of God' corresponds to an Aramaic bar elaha, bar elyon, b'reh d'elaha, and what meanings each of these forms may have conveyed.

19. Petrine confession.[edit]

The same conception that Jesus divine sonship cannot be known by men except by a special revelation from another world is found in Mt. 16:17. Of such a revelation there is no hint in the accounts of Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi given by Mk. (8:27-33) and Lk. (9:18-22). But neither of these evangelists puts the title 'Son of God' upon the lips of Peter. Mk. has simply 6 xptcrrjs [o christos], Lk. o xP tffl ~bs T v Otov [o christos tou theou], the latter probably goes back to meshiha de-yahwe, cp 1 S. 24;7 Trg., and Ps. Sol. 18:7 xp i<rr fo Kvpiov [christos kyrion]], and originally 17:32, and not to a meshiha d'elaha not found elsewhere. It is more likely that Peter used this longer form than the shorter one in Mk. There is no reason to doubt either the question or the answer in the form preserved by Mk. and Lk. Before carrying out his plan of proclaiming the kingdom of heaven in Jerusalem, Jesus would naturally desire to know the attitude of the people. If Peter's description gave him some assurance that there was no immediate danger in that direction, the views as to his personality cherished by his disciples seem to have made him all the more apprehensive, and caused him most earnestly to forbid them to make any such statement concerning him.

It has long been recognised that Mt. 16:17-19 is a late interpolation. It may already reveal the pretensions of the Roman bishop (Wernle, Syn. Frage, 192), and has been more correctly interpreted by Catholic exegetes than by Protestants (Bauer, Kritik, 36). But, apart from the macarism, the text of Mt. has been interpolated (cp Holtzmann, Syn. (3) 257) by the addition of the two terms 'son of Man' (see SON OF MAN, 39) and 'son of the living God' (cp Hosea 3:1, LXX uioi <?eou <Ju>rros [uioi theou zoontos]). Van Manen (Th.T, 1894, p. 184) is probably right in thinking that 'Son of God' is not here a designation of the theocratic king, but to be taken in a metaphysical sense. But to the interpolator 6 xpioros [o christos] was no longer a mere equivalent of 'the Messiah' ; it had no doubt already assumed the same significance as the 'Son of God'.

20. High Priest's adjuration.[edit]

According to Mt. 26:63 the high priest said 'I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God'; in Mk. 14:61 he simply asks 'Art thou the Christ the Son of the Blessed'? and in Lk. 22:67 the elders of the people say 'If thou art the Christ tell us', and only after the reference to the Son of Man, 'Art thou then the Son of God?' v. 70. It is evident that according to Christian tradition Jesus was asked by the priests whether he regarded himself as the Messiah, and that the particular form of the question shaped itself freely. In Mt. and Lk. Jesus does not commit himself; Mt. 26:64 reports only the brief 2i> efiras [su eipas], 'Thou sayest so', Lk. 22:70 his reason for not answering as well as his rejoinder, 'You say that I am'. On the meaning of 2i> efiras [su eipas] see Thayer, JBL 18:40-49; Merx, Die vier kan. Ev. 2384. These gospels represent a tradition according to which Jesus maintained his incognito before the priests as well as before Pilate. The apparently earlier form of the narrative preserved in Lk. makes no mention of false witnesses, blasphemy, a formal sentence to death, and personal indignities, but tells of two false charges brought against Jesus by the priests before Pilate - viz., his forbidding to give tribute to Caesar and his declaring that he himself is the Christ, an anointed king. Mk. has all the additions of Mt. and, besides, takes the important step of changing 2i> eiVcty [su eipas] into 701 eifu [egoo eim] 'I am'. What took place in the pontifical residence to which Jesus had been carried was probably as little known to his disciples as to us. (See Brandt, 53+; We. Skissen, [1899] 6:207; cp SIMON PETER, 15.) At the time when these accounts were elaborated, 'Son of Man', 'Christ', and 'Son of God' had become synonymous, and 'Son of God' was understood as God, so that the blasphemy of making oneself equal with God could be conceived of as a charge brought against Jesus. The 'Son of God' in Mt. 27:40 is lacking in the parallel passage Mk. 15:29-30, and the utterance is based on Mt. 26:61 (Mk. 14:58), having no more historic value than these improbable testimonies.

21. Centurion's exclamation.[edit]

In utter amazement at the miracles that accompanied the death of Jesus, the centurion cried 'of a truth this is the Son of God' (or 'the son of a god'), Mt. 27:54 (Mk. 15:39). As there is no reason to suppose that the great darkness, the earthquake, the rending of the veil in the temple, and the rising of the dead from their tombs actually occurred [cp EARTHQUAKE, 2], the occasion for such an exclamation did not exist. Of these miracles Mk. mentions only the rending of the veil. Since the centurion could not have seen this, even if it happened, his astonishment is left without a cause. If Mk. had thought that the centurion became convinced of the divinity of Jesus by the fact that he died somewhat earlier than expected, uttering a loud cry, he would scarcely have introduced the statement as to the veil. By his tendency to shorten the accounts that he copied, he has here, as elsewhere, rendered his own incongruous. Both Mt. and Mk. no doubt thought of 'Son of God' in a Christian sense. While it is quite doubtful whether any of the evangelists found the loud cry significant, it is possible that a centurion accustomed to such sights saw in the relatively speedy release from suffering an evidence that this political criminal was indeed a righteous man (Lk. 23:47), though Lk. thought of the miracles as occasioning this judgment.

22. Origin of title in Synoptics.[edit]

A critical study of the synoptic material leads inevitably to the conclusion that Jesus never called himself 'the Son of God', and never was addressed by that title. That he was proclaimed as such by voices from heaven and hell is a notion consonant with the ideas of the time, but not of such a nature as to command belief at present. But this negative result raises a question concerning the origin of the term 'Son of God'. Sanday regards it as certain that it was applied to Jesus in 1 Thess. 1:10, '23 years after the ascension', and thinks it 'easier and more critical' to see in the expression a continuation of Jesus' own teaching than to look for its explanation in other directions. But apart from the impossibility of proving that the epistle quoted was written 23 years after the ascension, by pointing to the Pauline literature Sanday has himself drawn the attention away from the line of direct transmission of the thoughts and words of Jesus. It is indeed in Hellenistic circles that the title as we find it applied to Jesus is likely to have originated. There is a possibility (see section 6) that in some circles the intensified study of 'Messianic' prophecies during the first century A. D. caused the term bar elaha to be used as a title of the Messiah. Wernle (Anfange uns. Rel. 295) goes too far when he asserts that no road leads from the OT and Rabbinism to the doctrine of the deity of Christ, as Sanday rightly maintains. In Hasmonaean psalms 'gods' and 'sons of God' are still synonyms and, in language tinged with apocalyptic imagery, the reigning kings are described both as 'gods' and as 'sons of God'. In spite of practical monotheism, the belief in the existence of gods as celestial princes or as demons continued. Such a phrase as sons of God because sons of the resurrection does not reflect a specifically Christian conscious ness, but is likely to go back to 'Rabbinism', showing its conception of the possibility of becoming a son of God in a metaphysical sense through a resurrection. Tendencies in the direction indicated can be pointed out, and are natural enough, since the mental habits of the Aramaic-speaking Jew cannot have been so radically different from those of the Greek-speaking Jew. Nevertheless it should be admitted that we possess no direct evidence of the use of bar elaha as a Messianic title. On the other hand, the term wds deov [uios theou] was frequently met with in the Graeco-Roman world as a title of kings and a designation of heroes born of divine fathers or translated to be with the gods. The ideas associated with #e6s [theos] and wds 6fov [uios theou] flowed into each other and had a metaphysical rather than an ethical significance. The meaning generally given to the term in the empire would unconsciously colour the thought of Hellenistic Jews when they found it employed in the Greek version of their Scriptures in what they took to be predictions of the Messiah. The titles vibs deov [uios theou], Ki/pios [kyrios], and 2coT?)p [soter] would certainly apply as well to the coming king of Israel as to the Roman Emperor. So far Jewish thought might certainly have gone, though it cannot be strictly proved that it went. It is not necessary to go outside the boundaries of Jewish thought, influenced by Greek speculation, for the ideas of an elevation into the sphere of divine life, through resurrection and ascension, the victory over demons knowing the secrets of another world, and even the birth of a hero without a human father, as Philo shows. In the present state of NT criticism it is not possible to date with accuracy the appearance of one or another of these ideas in Christian literature ; but it may. perhaps, safely be assumed that they had all found expression by the beginning of the second century.

23. Use of title in Fourth Gospel.[edit]

In Jn. 'Son of God' (d wds TOV deov [o uios tou theou]) occurs ten times, and 'the son' fourteen times. As in the case of the Synoptists it will be convenient to give the details.

  • i. Son of God : 10 times.
    • 1:34 : testimony of John.
    • 1:50 : Nathanael's confession.
    • 3:18 : belief in him.
    • 6:25 : dead hearing his voice.
    • 6:69: Peter's confession.
    • 10:36 : OT precedent.
    • 11:4 : glorified through Lazarus.
    • 11:27 : Martha's confession.
    • 19:7 : making himself God's equal.
    • 20:31: purpose of book.
  • In 3:16 'the only begotten son' occurs, and in 17:11 'thy son'.
  • 2. The Son : 14 times.
    • 3:17, 3:35, 3:36, 5:20, 5:21, 5:22 bis, 5:23, 5:26, 6:40, 8:35, 8:36, 14:13, 17:1.

In 1:18 the true reading seems to be fiovoyfvris 6f6s [monogenes theos], in 9:35 roivCov TOV ai dptunov [ton uion tou anthroopou], in 1:34 the text is uncertain, Syr. sin. cur. reading 'the chosen one of God'.

It is important to observe that 6 uios TOV 0eov [o uios tou theou] is used by John, Nathanael, Peter, Martha, and the evangelist himself, but rarely by Jesus, whilst d t ioj [o uios] is as a rule employed by Jesus alone. In the ecclesiastical circles whose christology this gospel reflects, the longer form, usually in addition to d xP "" 7 "6s [o christos], was evidently used in public confessions of faith, and the shorter form had already come into vogue in theological discussions. To this evangelist 'the Son' was a divine being who had appeared in human shape. He was a 'god' (0f6s [theos] 1:1), an only-begotten 'god' (fj-ovoyevr/s debs [monogenes theos] 1:18) who had assumed human nature, had become flesh (1:14). He was the Logos of whom Philo had spoken as 'the Son', the medium of creation and redemption. It was not blasphemy for him to claim a title felt to be equivalent to 'God', for he had been sent from heaven, whilst in the Scriptures men who had only received oracles from heaven were called 'gods' (10:33+) And he called those happy whose faith allowed them to say 'My Lord and my God!' without having seen the evidences of his resurrection (20:29).

It is no longer necessary to prove that the words put upon the lips of Jesus in this gospel cannot have been uttered by him. Even scholars generally distrustful of results that contravene ecclesiastical tradition are no longer willing to maintain the position of Schleiermacher and Neander, but freely admit 'in this collection of sayings an element - possibly a somewhat considerable element - that represents not so much what was actually spoken as enlargement and comment embodying the experience and reflection of the growing church' (Sanday). The critical estimate gained by the investigations of Bretschneider, Strauss, Bruno Bauer, Schwegler, Baur, and Zeller was in the main so sound that it has been adopted, even after the severe testing by Bleek, Kwald, and Reuss, with modifications that do not essentially affect it, not only by Hilgenfeld, Keim, Volkmar, Holtzmann, Scholten, Thoma, Pfleiderer, and Albert Reville, but also by Schurer, Julicher, and substantially Harnack, whose theory of authorship and interpolations does not render it usable as a source for the history of Jesus {Das Wesen des Christenthitms, p. 13 ET, p. 19-20). It is significant that the most recent investigators, Jean Reville, Kreyenbuhl, Schmiedel, and Grill agree in rejecting the Johannme authorship, the authenticity of the speeches, and the various partition-theories. That all parts of the book reveal the influence of the Philonian Logos-idea was never so fully demonstrated as by Reville and Grill ; however mistaken his theory of authorship may be, Kreyenbuhl has exhibited, even more clearly than Baur, the gnostic affinities of the gospel ; Schmiedel has shown convincingly how essentially correct the interpretation of the external evidence by the Tubingen school was ; and by setting Jn.'s central idea, the incarnation, against the background of Oriental speculation, Grill has not only used the comparative method that henceforth must find a wider application in all biblical interpretation, but also revealed the legitimacy of that process of thought which led from the Fourth Gospel to the Symbolum Nicoemon.

24. In Eph. and Rev.[edit]

In the epistolary literature of the NT the following facts are noticeable.

  • 'Son of God' occurs in 1 and 2 Jn. . . =13 times
  • 'the Son' occurs in 1 and 2 Jn. . . . = 6 ,,

Neither occurs in -

  • (a) Jas. Jude, 1 Pet., 3 Jn., or (except in an allusion to the transfiguration) 2 Pet.
  • (b) in Phil., Philem., 2 Thess., 1 Tim., 2 Tim., and Titus.

In the remaining epistles the occurrences are :

  • i. 'Son of God'
    • Rom. 1:3, 1:4, 1:9, 5:10, 8:3, 8:29, 8:32 .....= 7 times
    • Gal. 1:16, 2:28. 4:4, 4:6 ....... = 4 times
    • 1 Cor. 1:9, 2 Cor. 1:19, Eph. 4:13, Col. 1:13, 1 Thess. 1:10 = 5 times
    • Heb. 1:5, 4:14, 6:6, 7:3, 10:29 ..... = 5 times
  • 2. the Son
    • 1 Cor. 15:28 . . . . . . = once
    • Heb. 1:2, 1:8 3:6, 5:8, 7:28 ..... = 5 times

The conception in the Johannine epistles is the same as in the fourth gospel.

Rom. 1:3 is especially important as showing the idea of divine sonship based on the resurrection. Connected with this metaphysical sense of the term is the conception that men are not in themselves sons of God but may become such by endowment with divine spirit, 8:6.

In Gal. 1:16 the mani festation of the risen Son of God is described as an inner process.

In Eph. and Col., which show the influence of the Logos speculation, the Son is the pre-existent medium of creation ; the phrase 'first-born of all creation', Col. 1:15, should not be interpreted so as to exclude priority (Sanday), since 'he is before all things', as v. 17 shows.

The closest affinity to the fourth gospel is found in Heb., where 'the Son' is an essentially divine being, subordinate to the Most High, but higher than 'the heavenly man' of 1 Cor. 1:15. Schenkel finely observed the embarrassment the author felt at the thought of this being learning obedience or suffering 'though he was a Son'. The Alexandrian exegesis of chap. 1 shows with what peculiar material the road from the OT was paved.

The term does not occur in Acts, and Sanday rightly decides against TTCUS 0eoB [pais theou] being interpreted as an equivalent. In Rev. 2:18 the Christ is called 'Son of God'. The strangely composite christology of this book may be connected with its composite authorship and the transmission of its text.

25. Historical significance of title.[edit]

A careful examination of the gospels tends to produce the conviction that Jesus never assumed the title 'Son of God' either to designate himself as the expected king of Israel or to intimate that his nature was unlike that of other men, but that he spoke of men in general as 'the sons of God' and of God as their father, and also used the expression as a mark of distinction for those whose character resembled God's, who by their filial relation were freed from bondage to legal enactments concerning the cult, whose spirit and conduct established peace in the world, and who would be accounted worthy of a share in the resurrection from the dead. From a modern point of view such an attitude no doubt appears ethically more valuable than the loftiest claim of kingship or of godhood. The personality which historical criticism is able to discover behind the gospel records is not only more real but more ideal than the portrait the evangelists produced. Nevertheless the bestowal upon Jesus of a title he did not claim and probably could not have understood marked a step forward. When he was lifted up from earth and made a god, he drew all men unto himself. For him they abandoned the gods of their fathers, and out of his fulness they all received some measure of grace and truth. It may be questioned whether without this deification it would have become historically possible for him to dispense his spiritual gifts through the ages. It was far easier for men outside of Jewry to look upon the bearer to them of such treasures of life as a god than as a mere man ; and even Hellenistic Jews must translate his personality into the supernatural to derive from it such spiritual benefits as their education had prepared them to receive. There is an element of truth in Wernle's keen observation that 'christological dogma did not arise through a gradual increase but, on the contrary, through Jewish and anti-gnostic reduction of the popular faith' (Anfange, 295). It was after all the true humanity of the Son of God that bore off the victory at Nicaea. But it should not be denied that there had been a gradual growth into that well-balanced conception which, it would seem, was best adapted to guard the spiritual interests involved. As the oecumenic creeds were the corollaries of that conception of 'the Son of God' who is himself 'God' which conies distinctly to view in the fourth gospel, so this itself is the product of a long development of thought in Israel as well as in Greece, and among the Aryans of India and Persia. The contribution of Jesus himself to this development was the indelible impression of his personality. His own thought was too grand in its simplicity for the world to appreciate. That it means more to be a child of God in the sense in which Jesus used the term than to be the Son defined by the Nicene creed, is a truth still hidden from many who are wise and prudent.

26. Literature.[edit]

The title has been discussed with more or less fulness in numerous commentaries, OT and NT theologies, critiques of the gospels, and lives of Jesus. Among the latter those of Strauss, Neander, Keim, Hase, Schenkel, Beyschlag, Weiss, and A. Reville should be mentioned. The following works deal with various aspects of the question. Ilgen, De notione tituli filii dei in Paulus, MciHorabilien, 7, 1795, pp. 119-198 ; Bertholdt, Christologia Judaeorum, 1811 ; Colani, Jesus Christ et les croyances messianiques de son temps, 1864 ; Wittichen, Die Idee Gottes als des Vaters, 1865 ; Vernes, Histoire des idees messianiques, 1874 ; Drummond, The Jewish Messiah, 1877 ; Schenkel, article Sohn Gottes in Ribellexikon, 1875 ; Stanton, The Jewish and the Christian Messiah, 1886; Wendt, Die Lehre Jesit, 1890; Baldensperger, Das Selbstbewusstsein Jesu, 1892 ; Briggs, The Messiah of the Gospels, 1807; Paul, Vorstellungen von Messias, 1895 ; Brandt, Evangelische Geschichte, 1893 ; Thoma, Genesis des Johannes-Evangeli unis, 1882; Pfleiderer, Vrchris- tenthniii, 1887 ; Jean Reville, Le Quatrieme Evangile, 1901 ; Kreyenbiihl, Das Evangelism der H ahrheit, 1900; Grill, Untersttchttngett iiber die Entstehung d. vierten Evangeliitms, 1902 ; Holtzmann, Neutestantentliche Theohgie, 1897 ; Schmie del, Prot. Monatshefte, 1900, p. iff. , Dalman, Die ll orte lesii, 1898 ; Wrede, Das Messiasgeheiinis, 1901 : Rose, Fils de l'homme et fils de dieu in Revue biblique, 1900, pp. 169^; Schmidt, Son of Man and Son of God in Modern Theology (in press) ; Stevens, The Teaching of Jesus, 1901.

N. S.